Dan Mcgarry

Island Life - - Explore -

A few years ago, I started wish­ing I could find a way to get some­one to pay me just to take pho­tos and write. That wish came true ear­lier this year, when I was hired as Me­dia Di­rec­tor for the Van­u­atu Daily Post news­pa­per. Some­one asked me once to ex­plain a lit­tle about what I look for when I take pho­to­graphs. Here’s what I told them: The very first theatre show I ever worked on was called How I Got That Story. It’s the tale of a sad-sack free­lance reporter in Saigon dur­ing the Viet­nam con­flict who misses story af­ter story. Un­til one day when he sud­denly finds him­self in the middle of a crowd. A Bud­dhist monk ap­proaches him and asks to use his lighter. Be­fore the hap­less hero knows what is go­ing on, the monk has doused him­self with gaso­line and used the lighter to im­mo­late him­self. I’ve never chased that kind of story, and un­til this year, I’ve rarely had it thrust upon me. I’m happy to cover the news, but left to my­self I like the other kind of story ­what I like to call ‘the mir­a­cle of the mun­dane’. Those lit­tle mo­ments that let you see won­der again in tiny bits of ev­ery­day ex­is­tence. Those mo­ments when peo­ple (whether they mean to or not) re­veal some es­sen­tial part of them­selves and in so do­ing re­veal the mul­ti­fac­eted beauty of hu­man ex­is­tence. I’ll leave Tahrir Square and Beng­hazi for oth­ers. I think we are most in­ter­est­ing when we are at peace ­or at least, fight­ing the smaller bat­tles of day to day life. www.imagic­ity.com and www.hu­man­sof­van­u­atu.com.

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