Turn the World Around
A Photojournalist Discovers Paths to Peace Traveling a War-torn Planet
Photographer and writer Blair Seitz tells of transforming experiences while traveling in more than twenty countries to complete assignments. His adventures unfold in revolutionary Ethiopia, war-ravaged Sudan, camps of Rwandan refugees, post-war Laos and apartheid South Africa among other locations. He walks in the Philippine mountains with the revolutionary New Peoples Army and photographs China just after its opening to the West.
A pacifist, Seitz is always looking for ways to advance peace before war breaks out. He supports the power of mediation and is impacted by the restorative justice and redemption experienced by two friends–Rwandan and Burundian–who escaped genocide but experienced the death of their own families and the destruction of their villages. When the author returns to America he sees his successful photography business falter before experiencing his own grace and redemption at a Quaker center for study and contemplation where he began writing his memoir. He makes himself vulnerable to deep sadness and anger–as well as joy. The memoir is a lively, often emotional interaction with his family as well as the many nationals that he meets on reporting assignments.
Ambitious, daring excursions in a VW bus-turned-camper to Addis Abba, Ethiopia and then to the Cape of Good Hope from his home base of Nairobi are the stuff of adventure. Seitz describes breaking out of his rural, religiously conservative Mennonite childhood when he ventures to Kenya as a student and is exposed the textures of communities of different religions and varied nationalities as well as the beautiful urban landscape of Nairobi. The reader of Turn the World Around rides a roller coaster journey of emotions as Seitz moves from one action-packed encounter to another. It is a hard book to put down.
Published by RB Books in 2013.
isbn: 1879441462, SC, 9.2 x 7.5 x 0.9 in., 382 pgs, B&W photos