Anna, Frankie, Eva, Andrea

Let’s acknowledge right up front that this isn’t Art. But this is what most people do with a camera. They take pictures to remind themselves of a moment. We’ve all taken this photograph; we’ve all been in this photograph. This photograph has existed since the invention of photography.

This isn’t Art, but it has value. This photo says “I was here. I was young, I had friends. I laughed. I traveled, felt things, thought things, knew things. I existed, and even if my life was inconsequential in any grand sense, it mattered that I was here, right here, at this moment, with these people.”

This photo will always say that, as long as it exists and is looked at. It doesn’t even matter who looks at it; it says the same thing. Anna and Frankie and Eva and Andrea may look at this photo once and never look at it again. It doesn’t matter. We’ve looked at it.

At some point in some unforeseeable future, somebody may find this photo in some obscure digital archive. They’ll look at it and smile at the way people dressed back then and wonder who these young women were and what their lives were like. And that smile and that wonderment validates every person’s existence.

This isn’t Art. It’s a comment. It says we’re all important. And so we are.

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