Faces of Tomorrow is the culmination of a lifelong dream for Diana Barnett. A chef-turned-photojournalist, Barnett's mission is to bring to life devastating and inspiring stories of children around the world who have been struck by disaster and need issues. Through the lens of her camera, Barnett captures their stories, their voices, their hopes and dreams, and their collective message to all of humanity.
This project is dedicated to the children and the NGO’s (non-governmental organizations) that are working to improve their lives.
This humanitarian and gifted photographer has traveled the world in an attempt to capture images that will open the eyes of the public, the media to the plight of the children’s future. While devastation and terror are often looming in the background of her photographs, she has a rare gift in that the faces of tomorrow portrayed in her photographs radiate hope, rather than pity.
The Faces of Tomorrow project began in the fall of 1999 when Barnett traveled to Turkey after the devastating earthquake that struck the northwestern area. Like so many others, Barnett was deeply saddened by what the Turkish officials called the "disaster of the century". Determined to make a difference and help in some way, she took her camera to document the situation through the eyes of the children. Upon her return Barnett's photographs were a platform for numerous fundraising organizations.
Over the next four years, Barnett traveled to Brazil, India and Nicaragua. In Northern Brazil her focus was to document the lives of the many street children in need. She created a record of the varying levels of poverty and despair that exist throughout the country and shed a hopeful light on this forgotten segment of the population.
Barnett’s first show of her work was “Children of India” presented by the Indo-American Arts Council in 2001. The exhibit documented the works of her travels to India, following the earthquake of January 2001 which devastated the lives of thousands of citizens.
In order to document the earthquake relief situation Barnett traveled through various villages in the earthquake area. Beginning in Vondh Village, the earthquake's epicenter. Barnett visited schools, care centers and hospitals. Her travels continued on to Adhoi, and then to Gamdu and to Kunariya, the village of artisans.
The marvel of Barnett’s work is the optimism that shines through on the faces of the children, women and men of India, even in the wake of the devastation, loss and unimaginable grief. Her photographs illustrate the inner strength of the Indian people who smile and exude a sense of peace, tranquility and graciousness.
Perhaps the most poignant moment of Barnett’s experience occurred while in the Bhuj region of India. The photographer was taken back by a sign written by locals that read:
WE ARE NOT VICTIMS BUT WARRIORS OF A NEW BEGINNING
The Faces of Tomorrow project is dedicated to the children and to the NGO’s that are working to improve their lives. For they too are warriors of a new beginning.
Barnett’s most recent travels took her to the countryside of Nicaragua. It was here that Barnett worked with two separate projects that continue to bring new and hopeful dreams to troubling lives. 11/2003