Years ago, I was asked by a young man if he could take my picture. I was on the corner of Divisadero and Page in San Francisco, dressed in my steam punk best (complete with top hat and eye makeup), and on my way to provide Heroic Tarot readings for an event. I was rather focused on getting downtown to the corporate party, but the sparkle in the man’s eyes convinced me to pause for a moment and let him take the picture. Little did I know that I was taking part in something that would become a movement. Starting out as a form of photographic storytelling, then evolving into a community, Dijon Bowden’s Souls of San Francisco project now has a documentary chronicling its rise and effect. Film Hero describes it best:
On the surface, Dijon Bowden is a talented street photographer who has told thousands of people’s stories. But anyone who has stood in front of his lens or who has gazed deeply into one of his photographs can tell you that there’s something bigger going on. IGNITION: Souls Of San Francisco is the story of a movement that’s caught fire in San Francisco and has started spreading across the nation. It’s the story of all sorts of souls, seen through a lens of love and compassion, awakening to their own presence and purpose and to the other souls around them. The magic in Dijon’s photography comes from the positive energetic force that he cultivates and radiates. This light is there, reflected back, in the eyes of each individual he photographs. His project, SOULS of Society, has connected hundreds of thousands of people in a growing community of empathy, openness, and awakening. The film follows Dijon and some of the people his project has touched, delving beyond his photographs to the heart of what he’s been called to do.
I’m very grateful that I was among those chosen who were interviewed for the documentary. It has been a powerfully positive experience to be involved in this project and I’m so glad it has taken wings throughout the world. IGNITION: Souls of San Francisco is now available to watch for free online. Please take the time to experience this film for yourself. You’ll be glad you did! You may check out the trailer below.