This week, capture something broken.

Image by Cheri Lucas Rowlands

Beijing-based artist Ai Weiwei had an exhibition on Alcatraz, the famous prison-turned-US National Park in San Francisco Bay. His artwork recognized dissidents and activists who, like him, have been detained and deprived of their rights.

Since Ai Weiwei is not allowed to leave China, he conceptualized this Alcatraz show from Beijing; he has never stepped foot on the island.

He transformed parts of the former penitentiary into a space that challenged our perceptions of freedom and imprisonment: in one room, a massive colorful dragon kite and other winged creatures floated across the space, which was at once beautiful and sad, as they were stuck inside, unable to break free.

The exhibition also played with and incorporated the walls in Alcatraz: old, dirty, broken. I peeked through panes of glass and watched other visitors, like a prison guard. Other times, it felt like I was being watched. The broken windows and walls were tools for and symbols of surveillance — which Ai Weiwei often comments on — and created interesting angles, too:

For this challenge, capture something broken: an old window, a vintage sign, a toy never fixed, a contemplative friend. Or go deeper: find beauty in something broken.

Happy photographing!

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      1. Because it’s sad. Life is bad enough. I don’t need a photo to remind me. I try to photograph the good and the happiness in life. It’s there. You just have to look closely for it.


      1. Which confirms my feeling that it is not really the ‘right’ thing to do when a blogger rides on the back of such a popular feature. It is not genuine interest in the links provided, but a means of improving stats?
        Pity, because some are blogs I might want to follow if it weren’t for that annoying habit, which is ‘not really cricket, old chap’.


      2. Hi @colonialist! I don’t think it’s about what’s right or wrong here — all bloggers are different and have set up their blogs in different ways, and interact with both the content and other users differently. Some participants who really love the photo challenges like to compile, archive, and keep track of other submissions; others have their own systems. Indeed, there are people who might be linking meaninglessly, but there are others who do so because they enjoy this community.

        Great question — thanks for asking.


  1. ISIS militants toppling and smashing ancient statues and carvings are in the news lately. Their wanton disregard for humanity’s cultural heritage is beyond comprehension.

    Sadly, they aren’t the first and they won’t be the last either.

    My contribution this week is a photo of a head of Apollo that I took in Ephesus, Turkey. Like many of the ancient statues on exhibit at various museums in Europe, it show signs of defilement.

    When I was in Varna, Bulgaria, I expressed my dismay to a local history professor and asked him who could possibly be responsible for the destruction of these artifacts that are at least a thousand of years old. His response came as a surprise. He said it was the early Christians who considered them sacrilegious.

    Liked by 2 people

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