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Matinee: Paul Swee Share This on LinkedIn   Share This on Google   Tweet This   Forward This

16 March 2019

Saturday matinees long ago let us escape from the ordinary world to the island of the Swiss Family Robinson or the mutinous decks of the Bounty. Why not, we thought, escape the usual fare here with Saturday matinees of our favorite photography films?

So we're pleased to present the 283rd in our series of Saturday matinees today: Street Photography by Paul Swee.

Paul Swee is an executive creative director at McCann Worldgroup in Hong Kong but his hometown is Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The images in this 4:39 black-and-white slide show were taken in Malaysia in January and February of this year using a Leica M10 and Summilux 50mm ASPH. lens. You can linger over the individual images in the slide show (and plenty more) on Swee's Instagram page.

These images portray a normalcy to which we can only aspire now.

We found this slide show just after watching the NewsHour yesterday. It was a horrific week, the news bad enough that anchor Judy Woodruff felt compelled to thank her fellow reporters for seeing it through before she signed off.

We won't list the week's traumas. But a traumatic world is what we live in now.

We turned from the news to get back to work and found Swee's street scenes. They depict the ordinary activity of daily life, carrying burdens, taking a break, napping, reading the paper, the live food market. There were children with smiles and children with band aids. There were old people showing the wear of the years on their feet.

These images portray a normalcy to which we can only aspire now. Despite its evident poverty and hardship, that normalcy is reinforced by the bright faces of children who see Swee's lens trained on them and smile back.

They do not bear the burden of the day's news on their small shoulders. They carry the future in the tight grip of their small fingers.

And they will not, we are sure, let go of it.

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