Main focus -> people

Throughout Uni I have very much focused on people as a “subject”, in first year it was “students”, in second year “foreigners” and in third year “old people”. I enjoy engaging with people and investigate certain aspects of the society we live in through their experiences.

I remember in first year we photographed different rooms of students in our student accommodation (Marketgate) and we were interested in how the students make the space their own and if they brought a personal item with them that they had a certain attachment to. Because I and the other members of the group were all living in the same student accommodation we were curious to see the differences and do a little “cultural case study” in an environment that without the people really is a blank canvas (all rooms look the same). We took photos but also asked the students about their personal item and the story behind it, why they brought it with them and what importance it has to them.

Then in second year my group and I wanted to learn about experiences foreigners have in Bristol, because the three of us are foreigners ourselves. So again there was a personal element in it, something we could relate to and wanted to find out more about. We used the interview as a method of ethnography and filmed them in their own space answering our questions. This we arranged on a website, but the website was only a form of presentation – really it could have been a film project on its own.

Now in my final year I chose a topic I myself was confronted with, as I’m really not a selfie-taker and was wondering what a different generation would think about it (as my generation mostly finds it quite natural to take selfies). Again, there was a personal interest, something that motivated me to put my focus on a group of people that mainly is exempt from these modern “gimmicks” because I myself have a critical approach to it. Also because I am interested in photography and the evolution of it and somehow always feel a certain nostalgia when I see old analogue pictures, which evoke a bigger emotional response than any smart phone selfie could do.

So for my final project I think I would still like to investigate something that is related to people and their behavior and is somehow based in a cultural context. All three ideas that I have at the moment have a “human” element in them, some more obvious than others.

I have done both, Photomedia and also video projects and I think for my final project I’d like to convey a message through photography.

Wrapped up that means:

– My key driving methods are: people, investigative and ethnographic approaches, interviews

– Key points of enquiry: People, behavior, cultural and social aspects of life

What excited me most about the last project and all the one’s before?

Definitely the people and investigating a topic that I somehow myself can relate to and am naturally interested in.

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