It has been exactly one year since I began my blog. I started a blog because I had just moved to a new city and wanted a way to stay connected with my family and friends. It also provided me with an incentive to get out and photograph my new hometown. Photographing became the perfect vehicle to meet people and a way to acquaint myself with the history of Atlanta. People have been gracious and eager to share their stories and in return I have shared them with you. As a thank you for your support and wonderful comments I would like to give a gift to two of you. If you are interested in receiving a 8.5 x 11 inch photo from my blog, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, address and the image you would like. I will randomly draw two names one week later, on February 7th, and post the names of the winners on my blog.
The Turkish on-line photo digest, Fotoritim, asked whether I would contribute 15 images from my portfolio Southeast Portraits. After I moved to Atlanta a year and a half ago I began to photograph the people of the Southeast. It was a way for me to connect to my new home. I have posted many of these portraits on my blog over the course of the last year. You can view my portfolio at Fotoritim at http://www.fotoritimdergi.com/beate-sass-guneydogu-portreleri as well as browse the photography by other Turkish photographers and artist’s from around the world.
Atlanta was recently bestowed the honor of being one of the top 10 “tastiest towns in the South” by Southern Living. Atlanta is not only known for its plethora of wonderful restaurants but also for its vibrant farmer’s market scene. Sweet Auburn Market, located on Edgewood Ave., near downtown Atlanta, has been open to the public since 1924. The market has vendors who offer a diverse variety of foods. I was fascinated by the various animal parts on display at the butcher counters and wondered how the appendages and distal limbs from pigs are cooked. I learned that pig tails may be used to enhance the flavor of black-eyed peas and turnip greens or they may be barbecued until crispy and enjoyed as an appetizer. Pig feet are pickled, boiled with beans and spices until tender or barbecued. Pig ears may be boiled or fried and sliced. If simmered, pig ears must cook a long time to reach tenderness. Like the Southern expression goes,”Use everything but the oink.”
As I was driving home late Saturday afternoon I spotted artists working on this Living Wall in the Kirkwood neighborhood in the east side of Atlanta. Since 2010, artists from around the world have transformed walls throughout the city into visually compelling works of art during the annual Living Walls,The City Speaks conference in August. The Living Walls mission statement is to, “promote, educate, and change perspectives toward public space in our communities via street art.” Above, volunteers Keif Schleifer, Emily Fisher and Derek Dondeville are touching up a wall that had been recently defaced. The wall was painted by the Spanish street artist, Eme in 2012. Eme often incorporates powerful messages, typically one to two words into her creations. The message on this wall was particularly powerful to me on this day for I had been experiencing a dry spell in terms of my photography and I was grappling with whether what I do as a photographer makes a difference. As I conversed with Keif about Living Walls, several motorists enthusiastically thanked the volunteers as they drove by. My encounter was not only inspirational because I witnessed the positive impact that Eme’s art had on the community but it also reminded me to Never Give Up when the road gets bumpy.