750 Lights to the World
Since late March 2019, Baha’is Nancy Wong, a photographer, and Bob Reddy, a visual artist, have teamed up to create a photo project in honor of the 200th anniversary of the birth of the Bab.
They have invited 16 photographers from around the world to help.
The project began when Wong was invited to submit an art piece for the Art in Response to Violence Conference at Northeastern Illinois University, on Oct. 17-18.
Wong considered creating an art piece about the violence the Bab faced in the mid-1800s. Those in power at the time were threatened by the Bab’s message of spiritual renewal, justice, equality, peace, and unity. They imprisoned the Bab and eventually executed Him, with a regiment of 750 rifles.
The photo project is called 750. It is comprised of 750 candle portraits held by people from all backgrounds, races, religions, gender, ages, economic status, physical abilities and sizes. The photos are assembled in the art installation to honor of the Bab’s message of universal love and the oneness of humanity. Each candle, like each bullet.
When the Bab was in prison, He was kept in the dark with no light. 750 lit candles honor His suffering and fuel us with energy, vision, and hope in our own work for a better and beautiful world.
750 photographs — candles being held by one or more human beings, in various locations on the planet. 750 responses to the darkness of violence that eventually claimed the lives of over 20,000 innocent people in Persia, in the mid-1800s, including one (the Báb) whose teachings reverberate into the present day. 750 lights to acknowledge that “Love is a light that never dwelleth in a heart possessed by fear.” A light that must be kindled and burn brightly in one’s own soul, then be united with others who seek light rather than shadows.