Riccardo Romano

[ prisoner number 234 ]

Back on the evening of October 21st 2016 I saw a young man perform a funny, touching and optimistic high school valedictorian speech. He spoke about his immigrant family, about time travel, about goofy teachers. He quoted that famous Apple “Think Different” advertisement and enthused about the important role that imaginative, creative people play in our world. We watched as an American-born, Haitian refugee was awarded for his community activism, we watched as a year of glorious art school misfits graduated and moved on to their new lives. Every week since then has been a hell of a week.

Which brings me to Riccardo’s photograph and the power of a title. The picture alone is bright and bold and would trigger warm memories in anyone who has ever taken a small child to a public pool. The title, however, makes us forget the brilliant happy orange, and the mirror-like pool and instead think about caged children. It makes me think about how a Fox News anchor called the US detention centres “summer camps” for immigrants. It makes me remember how all around the world politicians are using their platforms to dehumanize immigrants and outsiders.

The Apple ad used the voice of a corporation to praise the crazy ones, misfits, rebels and troublemakers … Because they change things. They push the human race forward. It has been my experience that immigrants, refugees and their children often do the same thing. So here’s to all the outsiders and here’s to every picture that makes us remember them.

Blog photograph copyrighted to the photographer and used with permission by utata.org. All photographs used on utata.org are stored on flickr.com and are obtained via the flickr API. Text is copyrighted to the author, Rachel Irving and is used with permission by utata.org. Please see Show and Share Your Work