I struggled at first to think of a theme for Assignment 1, partly because, after studying the texts we had to link our work to, I became set on one specific work (Lister M.’ ‘Photography, a critical introduction’). I could not, no matter how hard I tried, link it to any of the themes in a way that seemed plausible.

After discussing this problem with tutors, I decided to pick a theme and then figure out which text would link to the what I chose. I was still struggling, however, during our class trip to Ireland, I was introduced to the work of Lucas Foglia and became fascinated with the question: Does a photographer represent a culture differently depending on whether or not they are a part of that culture.

This question led me to choose the theme, ‘Representing another Culture’ and, after looking back over the texts, I decided to link it with the work of Levi Strauss.

I decided to focus my project on the Societies within Coventry University, as I feel they all have there own little cultures. And with this decision, I was able to quickly develop my research.

What I discovered, with the completion of my final piece(s), was that even with myself meticulously trying to photograph the two societies in the same way, there was still a difference, but it wasn’t on my end.

The people themselves acted differently around the camera. The society I knew where comfortable and even made silly faces, while the society I didn’t know avoided eye contact.

To me, this shows that there is a significant difference between how a society is photographed depending on the how involved the photographer is, as if the society is not comfortable, they will not act naturally around the camera, so it will not necessarily be an accurate representation of them as a culture/society.

One thing I really enjoyed about this project was the chance to see what it was like to photograph people I did not know before. While being relevant to my idea, it was also an invaluable experience for me, as I am sure this will not be the last time I have to contact people I don’t know for the sake of my work.

I am also happy with how my final pieces have turned out, and enjoyed the process of designing them.

As for what improvements I could make to my project, I feel I could of done more in depth research, and during the folding process of my final books one is a little uneven, so I wish I had practiced more beforehand. I feel I struggled through this project. I lost time because of my own anxieties, my thought processes and organisation was no-where near as neat and precise as with previous tasks, and it was not until the last few of weeks of the project that I rediscovered my proper stride. This is something I need to work on.

In conclusion, this project caused me a lot of worry. But I feel that I have created a solid piece of work that links with the original theme and text I chose and answers my questions. I have points to work on, but overall I am proud of what I have created.

 

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