This wanderer over distant lands gives us his assessment of the chances of survival of humans. In spite of all the troubles and setbacks he's witnessed, he is still in the fight for survival. This willingness to fight for our survival is something so essentially human about Vltchek. He admits that he is scared, but he looks extinction squarely in the face and refuses to stop fighting.
Lately, I have been asked this question on several occasions. “Can our humanity really survive?” “Am I an optimist or a pessimist?”
My replies vary, as I don’t think there can ever be one single answer to this most urgent, the most important query.
Sometimes my answer gets influenced by location: where I am at that moment, or where I have been recently? In a Taliban-controlled village in Afghanistan, on a rooftop of a whorehouse in Okinawa while filming deadly US air force bases, or perhaps in an elegant café after visiting an opera performance with my mom, in Stuttgart or in Paris.
Whether I have been injured on a battlefield or in a slum, or have been applauded (most of the time, hypocritically) at some event where I was invited to speak? Have I been doing something ‘forbidden’, insane and dangerous, or merely processing my visual or written materials in Japan or in Bangkok?
Depending on the circumstances, I can sound negative or cautiously optimistic.
But the truth, the honest truth is: I am scared.