Photographer's Note

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Since I changed my job few months ago, this is a view which I pass on my way to work. For a while now I have tried to find a good angle to capture an array of houses like this. This particular street has the advantage that the road goes uphill, and each next house is shifted up respectively. I have noticed the sunlight fills the whole street in the morning, sadly also at the same time the light is very harsh. Polarizer does not help then. The resulting colors were quite washed out. Hence, I turned to black and white.

The title refers to the discussion which I had on TrekEarth few weeks ago. To illustrate what I mean I am going to mention the political system known from the US. The vast majority of population is divided into the Democratic Party voters and the voters of the Republican Party. They vote for the same party from one generation to another. Democratic Party is progressive and liberal while Republican is conservative and traditional. Interestingly in the election campaign nobody cares about those voters because they are predictable. They see the world as black and white. We are good they are bad. The presidential candidates care most about so-called swing voters. A group not that large but it is them who in the end must be convinced, first to participate and vote and secondly to vote for the given candidate. Most countries in Europe experience now similar polarization: there is usually a still prevailing liberal party and there is a rise of conservative parties across the whole continent. Sadly, the polarizations like that are deepening. People like it because it is easy. They pick a side and they are ready. For example, if they think they are progressive they stick with the liberal party, usually being current mainstream also in the media. If someone is more traditional picks a conservative party. Deep polarization means that at certain point the sides start to hate each other. They don’t talk, they accuse each other. We are good, they are bad. Whatever we do is good, whatever they do is bad. Black and white. The negative consequence of it is that people on both sides stop talking to each other. I know some families in Poland which are so divided they don’t talk to each other. If I would tell them: look the world is not black and white, it has some shades in between… Left would tell me that it means I am defending the right so it means I support the bad guys. Right would tell me that it means I am defending the left so it means I support the bad guys. This is how the polarization works. Roughly speaking this is why Trump has won, this is why Brexit happened, this is why in Poland, Slovakia, Germany, Netherlands, Italy, Austria, France… some alternative anti-establishment forces came to power. People don’t talk, mainstream media keep some issues out of the public dispute and this is easily being used by those who benefit from polarized societies, divided Europe, divided America. Just think about it: black and white is not the full picture.

It is the Beaconsfield Road in Norton, a village in the unitary authority of Stockton-on-Tees.

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Additional Photos by Mariusz Kamionka (mkamionka) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 7266 W: 106 N: 19144] (73374)
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