The field reports were initially created to keep my friends and family up—to—date on my activities while I was in Africa. They soon became something more as I began to include stories of the people I was meeting and working with in my travels. Some of these had survived genocide, some were living (and dying) under the tyranny of a mad dictator; others were offering stories of hope and reconciliation — all have a story to be retold. I also began to take my photography much more seriously and with the indispensable help of Harmine Louwé who masterfully designs these pages, the field reports were soon being circulated beyond my small network.
Thank God for the people in these reports and their tenacity — that they continue to struggle against injustice rather than accept it; that they recycle the everyday refuse in the streets for their own survival; that they choose faith over doubt in the face of hunger, poverty and death — and in so doing teach us the reality of hope. Thank God for their genuine and soulful songs, their willingness to share their painful accounts with a stranger, for the love they've shown me in community and for the beauty of their collective spirit.
click images for larger view.
Breitenberg is a Virginia Beach native and graduate of the Swarthmore College Critical Visual Studies program in 2001. He subsequently went on to graduate study in editorial design and to work as a writer in The Netherlands. For the past few years, he has been an activist for social justice while working with community groups in Southern Africa and Nicaragua. As part of his work, he has produced regular Field Reports which outline his activities and have appeared in the New York Times online and major faith—based websites like Sojourners. Breitenberg now lives in Cape Town with his wife Mariah, where he continues to pursue creative activism through community development projects, public street art collaborations, and independent publishing projects.
With Harmine Louwé, founded the Office for Editorial Design in 2007: OED work has been published in AREA 2 (Phaidon) and Open Manifesto (Kevin Lippert); exhibited at the Brno Poster Biennale (curator: Peter Bilak); and is in the Stedelijk Museum's permanent collection (Amsterdam). Commercial clients include Nike, Sony and T—Mobile. Cultural clients include Orphan Network (US), Ikhayalathemba (SA), Serve the City (BE), and OpTrek (NL). At the OED we believe that the word is a good design tool.