I want to know how people deal with fear. I've looked hard at this subject and seen fear as something irrational, based on imaginary demons, shadows, sounds but always underpinned with something possible. I've found that a state of fear leads to seizure.
While making Forest of Crocodiles I met a woman who couldn't walk into a dark room and turn on the light switch. The dark was simply too difficult to penetrate. She learnt to pray harder and now turns on light switches. The woman's fear of the dark was because one night she opened her front door and armed men walked into the house and terrorized her family. It seems reasonable that she was scared of the dark. Rational even.
I don't know what the man on the left was thinking when I took this picture. He wasn't hiding from me and had been sitting like that for hours. There were lots of other people about - over one hundred - and no-one bothered the man. A liberal sensibility begs to pity someone cowering but he doesn't need pity. He wasn't cowering either. He lives in an asylum in the Mexican desert. An asylum run by inmates - mental or otherwise. He came from the streets of frontier Ciudad Juárez where eight people are murdered every day. More than the combined total of New York, Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Houston, Baltimore and New Orleans.
You could say this man is dealing with some sort of fear. Or maybe he's past being afraid because he's seen too much. Myabe his imagination is shot through of wild things and it's taken root in attempting to imagine silence. Or blindness. He lives in a place where there's nowhere to hide and it's never quiet. But that's no trouble compared to where he's come from. That place spawned the nightmares he breathes every day. Here, at least he's safe and I can only admire him for still being around. The stories he could tell. Make you cower in horror.
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