Gerald Forster, "Cuba, School Kids", 2002, selenium toned gelatin silver print

Gerald Forster, “Cuba, School Kids”, 2002, selenium toned gelatin silver print

Gerald Forster

Spanning 10 years and 17 countries, the Light Years Project explores the connectivity of humanity united in space and time. The LightYears Project celebrates the beauty of difference and emphasizes the communal wisdom, dignity, integrity, and strength of character shared by all human beings.

Since 1994 I have traveled to five continents documenting the diversity of indigenous cultures. Using portable lighting equipment designed specifically for field work, the subjects are bathed in light and are momentarily lifted out of their ordinary context of emblematic geography and physical culture while an abstract background establishes a common ground for all. Who are these strangers who look so familiar?

Undeniably, the project includes elements of curiosity of the other, the joy of travel, and the love of humankind in general. In the context of the LightYears Project, the purpose of traveling is to learn the common language of humankind, and to lose the fear of the unknown by juxtaposing visual experiences with poetic reflection.

Born in Germany in 1964, Gerald Forster graduated with a degree in photography in 1985. He has since worked professionally in Europe & the United States, and contributes images to publications throughout the world including Newsweek, Esquire, The New York Times Magazine, and Vogue. In his project LightYears, Gerald has spent ten years traveling and photographing in Cambodia, China, Ethiopia, India, Cuba, Greece, Israel, Japan, Morocco, Mexico, Mongolia, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Russia, and Yemen.