Robert X. Fogarty in Joplin, Missouri, U.S.A.

Robert X. Fogarty in Joplin, Missouri, U.S.A.

Robert X. Fogarty preparing for a speech at Georgetown University

Robert X. Fogarty preparing for a speech at Georgetown University

We aren’t changing the world, but we take pictures of people who are.

I started this project in 2009, when people across New Orleans wrote their “love notes to the city.”

We learned that you can never lose your voice and over the past three years, I’ve looked into the eyes of thousands. They’ve shared the hopes and fears, their losses and joy with me regardless of their religion, race or language.

I ask people to share one meaningful message with family, friends and strangers.

I scribble different versions of Dear World, asking myself if we just take pretty pictures. But then I look at “Cancer Free.” Ralph and Rebecca Serpas shared themselves and in the process showed me that our stories matter.

Dear World is part business/art project/social experiment. I’ve been blessed to have companies and organizations invest in me and my work. And because of them, I’ve been able to travel to places like Joplin and Breezy Point to tell stories of survivors and Jordan to photograph Syrian refugees. And it’s in these places where I find the stories I bring to you in speeches.

Stories of hope. Stories of struggle. Stories of a brighter day.

Our next step? We’re working towards a beautiful, wonderful world where more people send a message to family, friends and strangers in this way. Where people get that we’re connected and that you can build something fast alone, but to build anything great you have to go together.

Love,
Robert
Twitter: @rxfogarty