Photos: Vardi Kahana
In medicine, like in photography, the field of vision changes in accordance with the quality of the lens connected to the eyeball or to the body of the camera.
In the Third World, cataract is the most common cause of blindness. The clouding of the lens prevents rays of light from penetrating the eyeball, blocking vision.
In photography, as opposed to ophthalmology, the lenses are clear, and the selection of field of vision is in our hands – whether focusing our view on a narrow, limited angle or opening, expanding the horizon, and sharpening the depth of the field of vision and understanding.
In the world's most beautiful landscapes, in the endless paddy fields of northern Vietnam, in the swamp forests in the Irrawaddy Delta of Myanmar and in the green meadows of in northern Ethiopia, masses of people live in contemptible poverty, which hits them with diseases and disabilities. Many of them arrived at the portable operating rooms and lay on the operating table with the mud still stuck to their feet.
A blind girl-woman from a remote village, with innate cataract in both her eyes, lived for 30 years in darkness which was removed in a 30-minute operation. A teenage girl, whose vision was blocked and whose beautiful face was deformed by a drooping eyelid, got to continue her life like the rest of the children her age following a short surgical procedure.
A girl with a huge tumor pushing her eye out in a horrible distortion, giving her the look of the "Elephant Man," was flown to Israel for a long and complicated operation in which the tumor was removed and a glass eye was installed.
These people, and many others, were treated by the volunteer doctors of Eye from Zion. My camera was there to document it. This series of photographs tried to remove the clouding from the lenses of those of us who were lucky enough to be born in "the right world," to focus and sharpen the width and depth of our field of vision.
The "Fields of Vision" exhibition is being displayed these days at the Beit Yad Lebanim art gallery on 3 Hamahteret Street, Ramat-Hasharon, till July 21.
All photos in the exhibition are for sale, and proceeds will be used to purchase medical equipment for the next mission of the Eye from Zion doctors.