Synopses & Reviews
In 1996 photojournalist Linda Schaefer met the frail founder of the Missionaries of Charity while on a goodwill trip to Atlanta, and was told by Mother Teresa that if she wanted to understand the work, she should "come and see"--making her the last professional photojournalist to have full access. From that day on, Schaefer photographed every aspect of life among the Missionairies of Charity, the international team of volunteers, the leper colonies, homes of the dying, the thousands given dignity and a place to heal or die, the spiritual events and ceremonies in which young women dedicate their lives to serving the poorest of the poor.
Unlike most books of photographs about Mother Teresa, Come and See is very unique. It combines the text of a journal handwritten by photojournalist Linda Schaefer as well as some 160 full color photographs taken as she lived and worked with the Missionaries of Charities and the international team of volunteers in various facilities run by Mother Teresa throughout India. Schaefer had decided many years ago that she wanted to shoot a pictorial on Mother Teresa and her work. Finally in 1995 she had a brief encounter with the living saint during a visit to Atlanta. This renewed her passion to photograph the nun in her natural surroundings and share a different look at Mother Teresa with the world. This was not an easy task. Mother Teresa was opposed to "another book" about her. As she put it, "too many people are making money and none of it gets to the poor who really need it." After accepting a challenge from Mother Teresa to put her cameras down and go to work in the orphanages and houses of the dying, Schaefer finally received the answer to her prayers. Mother Teresa penned a note to Linda granting her complete and unfettered access to her facilities, the Missionaries of Charity, the international team of volunteers, and thousands of poor and sick. The result is a book that was created around the dictates of Mother Teresa. As she put it, she wanted the people who picked up this book to see "her world" -- the environment in which she lived and shared her love. She wanted viewers to actually "see, smell and hear" the real world in which she lived and worked.. She didn't want a book packed full of individual photos of herself, and so Schaefer's work portrays all of the component parts thatmade up the world of Mother Teresa. This is the focus of Come and See.