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Empathy Gap

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Published Feb 20, 2017 | View the Assignment | Features Photos From 31 Contributors

    46 photos selected by

    Daniella Zalcman
    Documentary Photographer

    From The City Of Turbans " Punjab "

    #faith #punjab #india

    The goal of this assignment was to bridge our world's growing empathy gap through photos — and I couldn't have asked for a most diverse array of images responding to the five prompts I supplied: borders, patriotism, faith, love, and family.

    It was a joy poring through the 10,000+ images you submitted to find my favorites, and puzzling through which photos to connect, and why, was a great challenge. These five concepts aren't necessarily easy to capture — and I appreciate the range of literal and more metaphorical interpretations of each. Funnily enough, the prompt that I thought would be the easiest and most relatable for everyone (love) had the fewest responses — and the ones that I thought would be the most challenging (borders and patriotism) yielded some of my favorite submitted images.

    These are my attempts to connect all of us through the photographs you sent — sometimes to highlight the different ways we can see the same idea, but hopefully more often to show how similar we can be.

    I have taken this shot from inside of a bar in Vizag, India. A simple glass door aparts the guard...

    #guard #bar

    Even if you imagine a world without frontiers may seem absurd, we must remember that the same bou...

    #travel #india

    Combined image of Kalyan Panja and Udayan Sankar Pal

    #empathygap_border

    Editor's Note

    I love both of these images as a response to borders — they're both stark, and a little sinister, but still quite beautiful in their own minimalist ways.

    Daniella Zalcman
    Documentary Photographer

    The photo was taken in everglades, Miami. It was flying over the swamp, which the moment is maki...

    #border #nationalparks #bird #wide

    Newspaper, lets us know what is happening around us. We are surrounded by thousand of devices the...

    #newspapaer #dhaka #kamalapur #railway #people

    Combined images by Jing Wei and Daud-Bin Rajvee.

    #empathy_gap

    Editor's Note

    Even though both of these photographers interpreted "borders" in very different ways, they felt very congruous to me — they're both more about travel and moving through borders rather than being co... More

    Daniella Zalcman
    Documentary Photographer

    It was a foggy day at the beach...

    #sea #blackandwhite #beach #people #empathy_gap_assignment

    In this day N age and especially with the new rage in American people due to the new president-el...

    #silhouette #abstract #people #travel

    Combined images of Rusy Singh and S. Vasiresh

    #empathy_gap

    Editor's Note

    These two dark images — one very literal, one a little more figurative — together create a somewhat gloomy interpretation of what borders can represent.

    Daniella Zalcman
    Documentary Photographer

    So many borders are visible out of a plane's window. The clouds, air space and river and its ban...

    #borders #roads #river #flying #field #clouds #trees

    Man cant put border for everything. Sometimes we can sit and watch. When the mansoor began the wa...

    #sea_walls #border #waves #kids #clouds

    Combined images of Lynda Christison and Nithin Ta

    #emapthy_gap

    Editor's Note

    For many people, the interpretation of "borders" was based on natural land features. I thought this was a nice way of looking at two images that treated water as a natural border.

    Daniella Zalcman
    Documentary Photographer

    This boy was removing colour from his body in the Meghna river after Holi Festival.

    Ijtema prayer

    #faith #prayer #ijtema #devotee #muslim

    Combined images of Rony Barua and Nasif Imtiaz

    #empathy_gap

    Editor's Note

    I liked these two moments of serenity together — depicting different acts, and different faiths — but fitting in their calmness.

    Daniella Zalcman
    Documentary Photographer

    From The City Of Turbans " Punjab "

    #faith #punjab #india

    Taken in church museum in Cologne, Germany

    #cross #christ_cross #jesus_christ #religion #christianity #belief

    Combined images of Georgie Pauwels and Krishna Dhyani

    #empathy_gap

    Editor's Note

    I liked the similarities between these two women, even though one is German and one is Indian. They're both deep in thought (prayer, even), faces upturned, glasses on, and seemed to fit nicely tog... More

    Daniella Zalcman
    Documentary Photographer

    A sadhu preparing himself for the day at Pashupatinath .Their daily life starts with yoga a...

    #pashupatinath_baba #preparation #sadhu #dailylife

    Yoga on the top of hill at sunrise

    #rock #sunrise #mountain #calm #morning #top #hill #people #sky #meditation #fog #view #sunset #nature #yoga

    Combined images of Tashi Sherpa and Antonio Volobotti

    #empathy_gap

    Editor's Note

    These photos were both very compositionally strong and made for a particularly interesting composite — and I think there are also playful connections to be drawn about self-reflection.

    Daniella Zalcman
    Documentary Photographer

    I was literally trapped by this sight on one of Beirut's narrow streets. I couldn't resis...

    #faith #life #old #beirut #streets #rosary #christina #curved #burdened

    Makar Sankranti is celebrated in many ways across India. Some folks fly kites while others, like ...

    #makar_sankranti #faith #natgeoyourshot #siddharthsetia #jaipur #rajasthan #empathygap #india

    Combined images of Siddharth Setia and Rodrigue Zahr.

    Editor's Note

    There are two very different worlds (and very different photos) meeting here, but I was most drawn to the echoes between the rosary beads and the sparks from the lantern.

    Daniella Zalcman
    Documentary Photographer

    While crossing the Ganges River (Varanasi India) on a shared boat-taxi, I met this Sadhu who let ...

    #landscape #faith #letsexplore #ngmhealth #bird #birds #portraits #portrait #landscapes #culture

    Sufi's used to dance while intoxicated with Faith and love of GOD . Centuries have passed but su...

    #faith #anachronisms_assignment #sufism #people #dance

    Combined images of Shivesh Ram and Mohammad Samad.

    #empathy_gap

    Editor's Note

    I love the shared body language in both of these photos, even if they're from two completely different contexts. Outstretched arms with open palms are so often a sign of prayer, from culture to cul... More

    Daniella Zalcman
    Documentary Photographer

    Hasidic father and his daughters enjoying a ferry ride into Brooklyn, NY.

    #streetphotography #ngmadventure #hasidic #candid #family #anachronisims #people #travel

    In any other sense those people standing next to each other could be polar opposite, politically,...

    #empahy_gap #love #nature

    Combined images by Dave Paek and Nicole Hale.

    #empathy_gap

    Editor's Note

    What is more universal than families going out to explore and look at something new together?

    Daniella Zalcman
    Documentary Photographer

    This photo marks the start of a personal documentary project, the subject being my Grandfather. ...

    #faith #hands #man #garden #old #blackandwhite #portraits #people

    There's not much better in life than being with family enjoying the scenic wonder of the Pacific ...

    #pacific_ocean_coastline #empathy_assignment_family

    Combined images by Diana Valenceand Scott McIntyre.

    #emapthy_gap

    Editor's Note

    I liked these images together — both very quiet moments of appreciating family, in whatever form that takes.

    Daniella Zalcman
    Documentary Photographer

    Finishing their demonstration at Manhattan's Union Square Park marchers flooded the park with sig...

    #inauguration2017 #inauguration_2017 #president_trump #protest_nyc #inaugurationday

    Ladies of Liberty lining up for a new traveler to pick them up and carry its symbol in its backpa...

    #giftshop #nyc #miniatures #statueofliberty

    Combined images by Meriem H. and Jose Alvarado Jr.

    #empathy_gap

    Editor's Note

    America has so many symbols of patriotism, each loaded with meaning — I like the contrast here of the upside-down American flag, meant to indicate distress (or, often, discontent), with the field o... More

    Daniella Zalcman
    Documentary Photographer

    workers protest in Chile

    #people #culture

    people take a walk to the beach near to Alexander the Great King of Macedonians, statue in Thessa...

    #sun #silhouette #ships #sea #alexander #people #statue

    Combined images by Andres Ibarra and EL Greco.

    #empathy_gap

    Editor's Note

    We have a lot of performative ways of showing our patriotism, and a lot of physical symbols of our nations and national identities. Flags and statues are some of the most recognizable of those symb... More

    Daniella Zalcman
    Documentary Photographer

    Patriotism can mean being so fed up with the status quo that you throw your hands up in protest. ...

    #patriotism #americana #baldeagle #portrait #baltimore

    I think patriotism can turn a blind eye to the shit that's really going on. Inspired by Robert Fr...

    #4th_july #stripes #america #walktheotherway #stars #blind #warzone #merika #idaho #flag #fireworks

    Combined images by Andrew Mangum and Thia Konig.

    #empathy_gap

    Editor's Note

    Two different but equally important exhibitions of American patriotism: one celebrating July 4, America's Independence Day, and another an act of protest against the frequent killing of young black... More

    Daniella Zalcman
    Documentary Photographer

    My newest body of work is in direct response to the politicized images of American Muslims depict...

    #american #millenials #muslim

    Velvet Revolution | 17th November After 25 Years | Czechs gathered on Národní Třída in Prague, Cz...

    #protest #patriotism #crowd #belief #prague #documentary #blackandandwhite #people

    Combined images by Lucia Eggenhoffer and Mark Bennington.

    #empathy_gap

    Editor's Note

    Sometimes patriotism is expressed as a group activity, and sometimes it can be quiet and more internalized. I love these two images together — they're foils in almost every single way — black and w... More

    Daniella Zalcman
    Documentary Photographer

    About the Editor
    Daniella Zalcman
    Documentary Photographer
    Daniella Zalcman is a documentary photographer based between London and New York. She is a multiple grantee of the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, a fellow with the International Women's Media Foundation, and a member of Boreal Collective. Her work tends to focus on the legacies of western colonization, from ...

    Photographers Published In the Story