Chapter 3 Lomo Kikuyu: Kikuyu - A Voyage to See and Restore Sight

Discover, recognise, understand, red, green, blue, purple, focused, blurry, bright, dark, small, big, below, above, crooked, slanted, wide-awake, dead tired, colourful, pitch-black, pink, fascinating, illuminating, embarrassing, exhilarating, incomprehensible, extraordinary, peculiar, inverted, twisted, singular and a whole lot more: Eyes can take in and be all of this, sight can mean all of this.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re hovering kilometres above the ground, moving deep under water or simply lying on a meadow staring at the sky, your eyes accompany you wherever you go, looking, watching. They’re watching what’s going on around you. They let you see from a variety of perspectives, through horn-rimmed spectacles, diving goggles or monocles. They allow you to be mesmerized by films and photographs. Your eyes allow you to sink into other eyes, to melt, be shocked to death, daydream away, to be left profoundly down or sky-high with jubilation. And don’t forget that your eyes can also enchant other eyes, shock other eyes, make other eyes flash, glow, dilate, close shyly and flutter open!

Your eyes open you up to all this and much more. They allow you to remember the moment, this moment and all those infinite unrepeatable moments and sights that bring light into your life.

Not everybody is able to see. Millions of people in parts of Africa and other impoverished regions of the world are deprived of these unique moments, even though their eye conditions, their blindness, could be cured. They are usually blind or have severely impaired eyesight as a result of malnutrition, poor hygiene and a complete lack of medical care. About 90% of all the blind people in the world live in the developing countries.

The organisation Light for the World (Light for the World) in Vienna/Austria (formerly the Christoffel Blindenmission Österreich) has made it their goal to help people with eye conditions in the ‘third world’ to see, in all senses of the words, the light of the world once again. For many years this not for profit organisation has been using tens of thousands of donations large and small, private and from companies and public funding agencies to help restore the eyesight of hundreds of thousands of people in a large number of bigger and smaller eye-care projects in Africa, Asia and South America. We Lomographers (and if you’re asking yourself what Lomography is, have a look at rely heavily on our eyesight. We are passionate about the spontaneous snapshot from the hip, the fast photographic artistic image shot at the most impossible of moments in the most impossible of situations. Which is why we have particular empathy for those people to whom this is denied. The Lomographic Society International is making its contribution with this booklet Light for the World… With one large call from all Lomographers and all other friends of sight around the whole world. Together we would like to make it possible for as many people as possible to go through life with seeing eyes, to experience the colour of life, to perceive unique moments. Just like us. Just like you.

This booklet tells you the story of a big little eye clinic in Kikuyu, Kenya, Africa. Small in physical dimensions, small in financial terms, too. But enormous in its influence on a gigantic country and even on the neighbouring countries: Millions of people are being examined and healed thanks to the facility at Kikuyu! How it works exactly in the Kikuyu Eye Unit is vividly described and depicted here as representive of all the other Light for the World projects around the globe.

And this book will explain to you exactly what happens with your money, your five, your 10, your 15, 30, 60, 90 euros or US dollars. How the money for Light for the World is used and administered, and lastly how it arrives most efficiently at its goal: namely to open the eyes of other people, to enable fellow human beings to enjoy a worthwhile existence. And with it, the unforgettable moments of sight. We would like to show you how unbelievably much comparatively little money can mean.You can finance a surgical operation with a donation of 30 euros or 35 US dollars that gives a blind person in Kenya or in another of the poor regions in the world his or her eyesight back. It is this simple. Therein lies our heart, perhaps yours too.

written by ungrumpy on 2011-11-22 #library #lomography #kikuyu #kenya #excerpt

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