About the Book

The Taken is in many ways a journey, a journey into the soul of humanity. I include the words of Nelson Mandela, not because of who he was, but because of what he said, …the turning of suffering into hope!

Photos realized are with the kind permission of very special people, people who have suffered and still suffer, both from scars of the past and from prejudice and ignorance today.

Jake Goodes said that the hurt inflicted by being “taken” not only impacts those who were actually removed from family and culture but is generational, the effect can be passed on in the form of dysfunctionality, endemic in peoples torn apart by separation. He was so right, this perspective gave me a broader view of those I sought to photograph.

The photographs themselves are confronting, I have attempted to portray an imagery that depicts loss, sadness and hope. When Uncle Murray said to me that he thought (hoped) that “these [the photos] could succeed where words have failed”, I knew I was doing the right thing.

The images are set up and posed in order to create the desired effect, normally I photograph what is there, in this case the “there” was emptiness; I have filled that emptiness with symbols of meaning. Some symbols I have used may seem somewhat obscure, in the words of Gene Wolfe, “We believe that we invent symbols. The truth is they invent us; we are their creatures, shaped by their hard, defining edges.”