You look at the photographs in today’s electronic and print media and you’re forced to say: “That’s how it is.” But with all the uncertainty and fear that it engenders, you so desperately want to see it come to an end in order to say: “That’s how it was.” That’s what I am trying to do with these photographs.
This is part of an ongoing series highlighting the work of photographers and film-makers across the planet. A reminder: we make our content free worldwide in the public interest. If you like what we do, please support us. As we hope you will understand, editorially-independent reporting requires funding in order to operate.
All photographs copyright Michael Merne.
Mostly, I do fine art street photography. And as I walked the streets of Geneva, my adopted city, there was no doubt in my mind what I needed to do. I needed to witness and record for ever what I saw. I found the city and its people in a very strange mood. My first thoughts were that it had become a wounded city. It brought sadness to my heart and the rainy days only accentuated my feelings. The beautiful hotels closed; the restaurants with chairs stacked on tables; the art galleries in darkness; and hardly a welcoming door open.
And then there the people…I switched my camera to black and white. This allowed me to capture the soul of the those I encountered. I could see that the people were strained and worried. And yet, they kept going with their resilience and always with a glimmer of hope. They were kind and dignified when I asked if I could take their photograph. Sharing the moment of a photograph helped to fortify my reserves of hope. And, yes, a beautiful day will come and we will say: “That’s how it was!”
Michael Merne is an Irish photographer based in Geneva, Switzerland, and published by major magazines such as ‘Black & White America’, ‘GEO’, ‘COLOR Magazine (America)’, and ‘HORSLIGNE’. He first arrived here in 1993 after working with the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) in Brussels, whose headquarters are in Geneva. He seeks to use his photography, mainly black and white, as a means of capturing the beauty and depth of people and entities. For him, B&W is the “perfect vehicle of expression.”
Michael Merne has been exhibited at numerous fine art exhibitions in the Lake Geneva region. UBS Nyon hosted his most recent exhibition “Instants Précieux” in January, 2020 He was a 2011 nominee of ‘Still Life’ Geneva and Architecture and Sport, Bilbao 2013 in the prestigious Black & White Spider Awards.
Related articles in Global Geneva