So this is a pretty scary debut on SHOWstudio for me... predominantly because it's blogging for SHOWstudio but also because I've decided to blog about something that I'd previously put up on my personal blog.
Though initially apprehensive about repeating the material, I just couldn't stop thinking about Dan Eldon and the remarkable story he left behind, and am now just very excited to share with you his tremendous journey.
Daniel Robert Eldon was an English photojournalist for Reuters, when at the age of only twenty-two, he along with three other colleagues were stoned and beaten to death by a mob in Somalia in July 1993 while documenting the brutal bombings by the United Nations on the suspected headquarters of General Mohammed Farah Aidid.
After his death, Dan's mother and family started putting together the seventeen black-bound journals filled with collages, writings, drawings, paintings, and photographs that Dan had been making ever since he was a kid growing up in South Africa into the almost mystical tome that is "The Journey Is The Destination: The Journals of Dan Eldon".
I remember a great thing that the person who told me about this book, shared with me about her perspective on art: in that when you look at something, and not only is it technically impeccable and emotionally riveting, but intuitively, in almost the core of your being, you just know that you would've been best friends with whoever was behind that work.
And for me, after reading this book, it made me fully understand what she was talking about - the unitive power to which great art (and my definition of art being very broad) strives for, beyond just mere inspiration.
Seething with relentless exuberance, insatiable curiosity, explosive youth, wild adventure and resonating with such gravity of a life lived, this book, I feel, would be to us what "On The Road" was for the Beatnik generation and far more, a documentation of enlightened youth that not only didn't come out bitter or cynical, but rigorously kept its exuberant spark and became an illumination for us all.
I hope you'll be able to see the pages I scanned (not sure if they're popping up, still new to this blogging template!), because personally by the end of the book, I was just tearing up. Not only is his work completely beyond (and I mean radically insane!) and unlike anything I've ever seen before, but it's so endearing to see such a wickedly smart and talented individual, who comes across some of the most disturbing and depressing sufferings of humanity, just keep going on... it's one of those beautiful stories that you know you'll grow up with.
P.S There's a Dan Eldon official website including his touring exhibition, online scans of all his journals and news regarding a film that's currently in production based on his amazing story