The story of a photograph

July 2017

Naomi Niyukuli’s photography appears in the exhibit “Home Is Where the Heart Feels” (at St. John’s City Hall until July 11). Here, she tells the story of one of her photographs. (You can also read about the photography program she took part in and a Q&A that tells how she came to Newfoundland and Labrador.)

What reminds you of home or makes feel like you are at home?

That was a topic question at our photo shoot class.

In the everyday life of a person, it is good to remember the past of where we came from. To remember the past is a simple thing in the human’s life.

Our teacher told us to take a picture of anything we see around us that reminds us of our previous homes. I took a picture that reminds me of a lot of things in my life.

It was early morning, the sun was starting to rise, and sky was changing from long, dark night to a dawn. It was long night because it was in the winter. The snow covered the houses’ roofs and the light from the sky’s colour shone on the houses. It seemed like many people will wake up and they will go to their different jobs. It was a really nice day.

This doesn’t remind me of the different jobs people worked in my country-no! It reminds me of many nights I slept in the forests and I was waiting to die. We had houses, beds, and sheets, but we were unable to have them around us. My family and I had to sleep outside in any weather. In the storm rain, cold, and wind without blankets. I stayed the whole nights listening to the scary, noise of guns. People were dying everyday around the country. More people died in the nights. I didn’t have a choice of sleeping outside or lose my friends or neighbours. But, it was a part of my life to see all those dirty things.

The early morning was my special time, when I could see the dawn like the grace of God to us who were not dead yet. I really loved to see the colourful sky. The joy and hope of life came back in me again. To see the beautiful colours in the sky, I right away knew that the night is over! It is a new day, I will make another step to move away from my enemies! I was excited to see a sun and make other steps. To walk in the forest and it is night was not easy. First; you can’t walk in the dark without any light. Next; we weren’t allowed to speak because we were hiding. Moreover; I was a child I was afraid to walk in darkness by myself. That’s why I was happy to see a day light.

Today I am 23 years old, I still see the dawn as a grace of God to me. A new day to me is a time to make the next step.

You can also read about the photography program Naomi took part in and a Q&A that tells how she came to Newfoundland and Labrador.

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