Just the other day, I walked past a little boy running next to his mother holding up a butterfly net and having the time of his life. I then look at the young child with an iPad in one hand and a Coke in another and is crying for more, and it makes me start to wonder when we all began to stop valuing the smaller, simpler things in life. When our eyes were not glued to our smartphones but instead on noticing the moments that should be remembered.

New York based photographer Brian Sokol captured this sentiment beautifully with his captivating black & white series, The Most Important Thing. Supported by the UN Refugee Agency, he features refugees from Syria, Mali, and Sudan with the one item they could not let go of when running away from their homes.

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From children and pets, to a holy book, musical instrument, cooking pot, and plastic drinking bottles, it is definitely humbling to see what each of them chose to bring along. They say that a picture is worth a thousand words and that is true in this case; Sokol’s photographs within this series express the emotions of each of these people and tell their story.

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Through the photographer’s simple yet creative storytelling, we are able to relate to these individuals in some way despite the differences in our circumstances. It encourages us to search amongst all the noise and clutter, and place focus on the things that truly matter. To change your perspective and have the ability to view the little things in life in a brand new light – isn’t that creativity in one of its purest forms?

View more images and the stories behind them here and here.

One thought on “Simplicity

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