Hope in the Dark

Words, pictures, and video by Steve Pavey

Today marks the beginning of another season within the political calendar with the inauguration of the 45th president of the United States (President “Haman”). There is much to fear – as this administration appears to embody so much hate and fear itself. Can we find any hope in this darkness?

I see it!

I see it in the struggle.

I see hope manifested as love across our common struggles for freedom. I see it among those who come out of the shadows reclaiming human dignity by declaring, “I am unapologetically unafraid.” I see it among indigenous communities who use prayer to challenge corporate greed and militarized state “power” by declaring, “Water is life” and “Defend the Sacred.” I see it among Palestinians whose homes are being demolished, whose children are being jailed, whose lands are being stolen, but whose dignity cannot be erased, who declare, “Our existence is our resistance.” I see it among those who are resisting police violence, incarceration and deportations by declaring, “Black Lives Matter” and “Not One More Deportation.” You see, without struggle, hope disappears.

This new political season comes at the same time as the start of the long liturgical season of Epiphany within the Christian calendar. This is a time where we remind ourselves how to pay attention, to look for sacred presence incarnated among us. This is a time where we learn to see. As we pay attention we will see that nothing, no human and no place is unsacred – only sacred and desecrated. And here I see hope. I see hope in the struggle. And in the struggle I see love – the sacred manifested among us.

Among the marginalized and the oppressed, among those who have more reasons to fear and to despair – they are inviting us all to join in the struggle. And the struggle itself is for love and it is love. This gives me hope!

We will dance in the dark
We'll bring candles down into the dark
We will love in the dark
We'll go home in the dark
We'll hold hands in the dark
‘Cause when you hold hands in the dark
You don’t know whose hand you hold
We’re just humans letting the love flow

            - Jeff Beck, Live in the Dark

I invite you to come see hope found in the dark by watching this video of images madewith communities in the struggle for freedom this past summer (2016).


Steve is a documentary photographer, applied anthropologist and contemplative activist, all of which come together in the vocation of cultivating a way to see, in order to bear witness to the world both as it is, and as it could be. His creative process is deeply shaped by accompanying and being accompanied by humanity living on the margins of empire, documenting and creating images with those shrouded in “otherness” towards the goal of collective action and mutual liberation. Steve’s photography focuses on hope – hope found in the struggle and dignity of becoming more human. You can see more of Steve's work at www.stevepavey.com and to get in contact with Steve email him at stephencpavey@gmail.com. Steve works with Hope In Focus, which bears witness to the world as it is and as it could be through activist photography committed to walking alongside the world’s oppressed and marginalized, finding hope together in the collective struggle for human dignity and justice.

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