Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Reflections from Minnesota, in images & words June 4, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 5:00 AM
Tags: , ,

This photo of a 1960s print can represent chaos. Or it can also represent diversity and how we are all connected by our human-ness. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo.

 

AS I CONSIDER THE EVENTS of the past week, thoughts and images flash. There’s so much to take in. The death of a black man in the hands of Minneapolis police. The protests that followed, initially violent but now mostly peaceful. At least in Minnesota. Scenes of buildings burning, looting, destruction. Crowds pulsing along streets and interstates. Police and National Guard massing.

 

I photographed this photo at an exhibit, “Selma to Montgomery: Marching Along the Voting Rights Trail,” at St. Olaf College in 2015. Those viewing the exhibit were invited to take Polaroid shots of the exhibit and add their thoughts. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo 2015.

 

And in all of it, the voices. Rising.

 

A vintage tray with a simple message. Peace. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo November 2015.

 

As I reflect on this, I think about the thousands of photos I’ve taken through the years that relate to the issues of today. And so I gathered a few of those to create a photo cloud of sorts.

 

Hands-on art created at July Family Night in Faribault to me symbolizes our diversity in the colors and patterns created by this young artist. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo July 2019.

 

I share these in the spirit of humanity. Not to invite discord or to stir up political debate. I dislike conflict. Rather, let’s consider words like community, togetherness, positive change, peaceful dialogue, respect, justice, peace… Healing.

 

Photographed in August 2018 in a storefront window of a business in downtown Faribault, I appreciated this message showcased in my diverse community. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo 2018.

 

No matter our skin color, our faith (or not), our education, our backgrounds, we each have the ability to be decent and kind and loving.

 

Photographed at LARK Toys in Kellogg, these two words resonate with me. Be kind. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo.

 

I recognize the issues are much more complex and deeply rooted. But we must start somewhere.

 

© Copyright 2020 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

 

8 Responses to “Reflections from Minnesota, in images & words”

  1. Ruth Says:

    Starting somewhere is key. Trying to grow and learn how to be and do better. Unfortunately there are many who still don’t want to take responsibility to examine their own deep seated prejudices or realize systemic racism exists. My daughter ordered 18 anti-racism themed books for her Mom’s club to read to their children. Seems a good place to start.

  2. Beth Ann Says:

    I have a bunch of books on diversity and other unifying topics ordered to put in my Little Free Library. I realize I have no clue but am trying to understand more.

  3. I’ve got a lot of thoughts and feelings but not the vocabulary to express it. It’s heartbreaking! I can’t imagine!

  4. Kathleen Cassen Mickelson Says:

    This is a great starting point, Audrey. Thank you for these images. We can all do a little bit every day to promote cooperation over competition, compassion over knee-jerk anger and fear, listening over talking. I love the quote about the laundry.

  5. valeriebollinger Says:

    Amen.


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