By Dr. Robi Ludwig
Dr. Glenn Losack has always lived an eccentric life. Even while in medical school, he knew he wanted to spend half of his time traveling around the world and documenting both the beauty and challenges of other countries. While stateside, Dr. Losack works as a psychiatrist, but when abroad he is in full award-winning street photography mode. His work is included in National Geographic, Asian Geographic and on the cover of several books. He also is the recipient of multiple photographic awards. Fun Fact, Yoko Ono has one of his photos in her personal art collection.
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During the pandemic, Dr. Losack decided to use both his psychiatric knowledge of human nature and publish a photographic book with Apollo publishers, highlighting The Bonds We Share, just in time for the holidays. It was important for him to underscore the message, that what unites us is stronger than the borders that divides us.
What inspired you to create The Bonds We Share?
I have travelled around the globe at least half a dozen times. Developing nations, such as the Dominican Republic, India and Bangladesh have left an indelible mark on me to this day. As a photographer/photojournalist there is an array of dramatic subject content to shoot, in stark contrast to Western society. People in these nations live their lives outside as opposed to us in the WEST, and i want to tell their story thru my lens. Millions live in dire poverty, and many survive daily due to the generosity of others by begging. The developing world has visible accessible tremendous stories and I choose to tell their story with my photography. The ability to live through hardship, austerity, dire poverty deeply inspires me.
How has the pandemic made The Bonds We Share more important than ever?
We, as human beings, are all in the same boat, facing the same hardships, challenges, and emotions like fear, anger, frustration, grief and facing unprecedented circumstances. We are bonded by these human experiences like never before.
Do you think your work as a psychiatrist influences your perspective as a photographer?
Though psychiatry and photography are two different animals, the skills i have gained in practicing psychiatric medicine surely helps me deal with my subjects, many who are themselves mentally and physically ill.
Who are your greatest artistic inspirations?
Sir Donald McCullin, James Natchwey, Magnum photographers, the Turnley brothers etc. When I saw the Cartier-Bresson photography “Srinigar, Kashmir “at age 14 in the Strand bookstore I knew I wanted a camera and desperately wanted to go to India.
What are you hoping your audience will take away from The Bonds We Share?
The commonality of humanity is the central theme: that what unites us as humans is stronger than the borders that divide us in this era of divisiveness, xenophobia, and political party fighting.
Why as a group do you think humans are so quick to ‘‘otherize’’ and focus on our differences rather than what we have in common?
With respect to the central theme of ‘The Bonds We Share’ we in the West think of these developing nations as poor and always in a crisis. We see documentaries how the world’s poorest live and we develop a sense of separation and superiority, and attest to the fact that “we” are better off, even happier, because we have more material things, higher standards of living & essentially ‘nothing in common ‘with the poorest of the poor. This leads to derision, prejudice, misconceptions, and an inevitable ‘ignorance’. Materialism does not make us happier! Humans are instinctively competitive, envious, mistrustful creatures and find it easier to be critical, judgmental even hateful of others. John Lennon’s ‘brotherhood of man’ is a wishful concept but if we could all learn tolerance and acceptance of others, we would see the true bonds we share.
Where can people find your book and learn more about you and your work?
Flickr has a good deal of my ongoing photographic work and about me. Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr, & Pinterest and YOUTUBE are all part of my social media.
The Bonds We Share is available for purchase at fine bookstores everywhere!
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