When we do our Saturday walks, we often bring trash bags to clean up some of the most offending trash. Our friends have organized "Clean up Germia" days. Still, the prevalence of trash everywhere is jarring. Kosovo is a beautiful country and Pristina, while not very beautiful, certainly could be a lot more charming if it was a bit cleaner. Okay, a lot cleaner.
I'm only one and I'm not making much of a difference when I pick up the occasional trash. It really would take monumental effort that includes changing the mindset of millions of people. Yet, Kosovars love their beautiful country so maybe it won't take much?
For a while, I've toyed with the idea of a photography project I'm calling "Clean up" in my mind. For those who are not around in developing or emerging countries a lot, let me tell you that this is a pervasive problem. It's the same in Bali, Armenia, and Brazil.
Trash is everywhere, even often right next to the public trash cans. So the project will not limit itself to Kosovo. Heh, I've even seen trash strewn about in Germany. Granted, it gets picked up pretty fast there but that just means there is a system in place that is lacking in other countries.
Maybe, when people see how even more beautiful the country is when the trash is taken away, maybe it will help to change their minds? Raise the awareness for the public space a bit? I can but hope.
I'm not planning on having my kids in the photos much. But I shot a quick snap of Jacob today. He was grumpy because he's always grumpy when we go on walks. When I looked at the shot on the computer, I liked it because it's authentic and then... then I just noticed all the trash and decided to clone it all out. Which I did. The difference was mind-blowing to me. So I decided to turn this fantasy project into a real one and start with this image of Jacob walking along the main road to Germia park, right in our neighborhood.
(Click on the arrows to make the image change.)