I started here at InterfaithFamily.com at the end of February, and learned as part of my orientation here that I was going to be responsible for finding images to include with our stories and with my posts here on the blog. I’m not a creator of visual art myself; I can just about draw a picture of a kitty-cat when my son demands one. Perhaps that is why I’m always impressed by visual artists, and why I love the Internet.
Visual artists can publish their work on the Internet on sites like flickr.com under a Creative Commons license. The artists can decide to share their images for free, but retain copyright over them. When I find a beautiful artistic photograph with this license, I link back to the site where I found it, so that the artist can get traffic back. It makes me especially happy to do this for artists who are displaying oil paintings and Jewish crafts on their sites, though even accidental Jewish images float my boat.
Among others, I’ve been following an Israeli photographer and blogger, Ze’ev Barkan, who posts and links to images of the Star of David. I was thinking about how many little Jewish children, especially those who are hungry for more Jewish knowledge, will look for “Jewish stars” wherever they can find them. It’s a way of feeling visible as a Jew in a society that might not see Jews. Sometimes the stars in Ze’ev’s flickr.com set overlap with images from other cultures, which is great for use on our site, where we celebrate interfaith families’ varied ways of sharing of heritage and history from both sides of their families.
I tend to think of my work here as finding a way for people’s varied voices to be heard–voices neither the Jewish community nor the mainstream of society is hearing every day. Through the Creative Commons license, I can also let our site be a place where different people’s visions can be seen.
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