Yes, that is Desmond Tutu in the midst of all those children jumping on a bed! For a project called Play Jump Eat, Kelly Wainwright of Messy Monkey Arts managed to coax not just the Reverend Archbishop, but also fishermen, surfers, schoolkids, and others to let go of their inhibitions and be photographed in odd situations, bed-jumping.
Jumping on the bed is an example of a joyful pleasure at its most democratic: an activity that is accessible to nearly everyone. It’s a childish pleasure, one we associate with being small in the expanse of our parents’ beds, but it can be rediscovered at any time. (Confession: I sometimes can’t resist a jump or two in a hotel room.) There’s just something so totally liberating about jumping; it’s a slightly transgressive, freeing feeling that brings laughter and optimism up to the surface. Even just looking at these photos evokes a vicarious burst of delight!
I hope the full series will eventually be posted online. Read more about the project here.
Update: Kelly pointed out to me that prints are available here and that a portion of the proceeds benefit the Tertia Kindo Arts Project, a children’s dance school. The comments also made me realize that I failed to credit Inge Prins, the photographer on the project. Lovely work!