The Sweep of History

Mark Edwards

The guest presenter at the Friends Gathering in October was Mark Edwards, one of the few environmental communicators to have personally witnessed the global issues that are defining the 21st century. His assignments for magazines, NGOs and United Nations agencies have taken him to over 100 countries. He is one of the most widely published photographers in the world with pictures in international museums and private collections.

Mark was at Art School when he first attended a talk by Krishnamurti in London. He was struck by K’s assertion that there had been no psychological evolution in humanity. This gave him the idea to photograph the sweep of history. He visited contemporary people living with stone-age tools in the Amazon, medieval communities in Asia and people living through the Industrial Revolution in factories in the Majority World to see for himself how humanity has changed with the development of technology.

This was the start of Mark’s lifelong career as an environmental photographer, punctuated by assignments for the KFT photographing Krishnamurti. The Ending of Time publicity required that he photograph K with physicist, Professor David Bohm and there he began a friendship and conversation with David about the nature of consciousness, progress and change. This culminated in the book Changing Consciousness based on their conversations and Mark’s photographs.

At the Friends Gathering, Mark presented a slideshow of his work and spoke about its connections to themes explored in The Future of Humanity (two discussions Krishnamurti and David Bohm held at Brockwood in 1983). This is an audio recording of Mark's presentation:

All the photographs displayed with this article were taken by Mark.

Mark was responsible for the creation of the Hard Rain Project, which this year won a prestigious UNESCO prize:

UNESCO-Japan Prize on Education for Sustainable Development laurate 2017

“The Hard Rain Project is a highly original international initiative harnessing the power of visual media blending art and science to raise awareness across the spectrum of pressing global issues, but also to stimulate thinking and inspire action towards more positive futures. There is evidence of its effectiveness in reaching a broad range of society including policy-makers, and providing high impact resources for educators globally. It also offers a model to those who seek to use visual and other creative means to promote education for sustainable development and address the SDGs.”

UNESCO-JAPAN International Jury Recommendation