Assignment 2 - Ideas

Already since the beginning of this part I have been thinking about the idea of photographing the unseen. It's interesting to notice how my ideas have shifted from a documentary point of view to a more personal, a result of looking at all the work of the photographers I have studied in this part, especially the work of Duane Michels and Briony made an impact. At first I would think of  un-photographable things and came up with everything that can be sensed with other senses than sight, but the more I thought about it I would come up with ideas that could portray those. The same counts for feelings, looking at certain subjects will make connotations with feelings like pain or happiness and will make you feel them. Just like you can feel a shiver down your spine when you see somebody falling on concrete or something like that. So, even though certain seemingly un-photographable subjects might be very difficult to portray, in the end you can photograph subjects that evoke the unseen, especially when you add text to the images.

Here are a few examples I have been thinking about: 

1. Morse code or secret language.
Morse code itself is already a translation of something written into sounds. I would like to experiment with shutter speed and moving objects to create a certain text in code that is visualized through showing images taken with fast and slow shutter speeds. When thinking about Morse, I mostly relate it to emergency situations and I would like to photograph a subject that asks for an immediate response. As a subject I have been thinking about the air pollution in Delhi, that is the worst in the world. On a more personal level, I am also considering photographing a person who is almost drowning. An other related idea is to take photos of things that represent a letter and form words or phrases with the images. The images can already reflect the final word that is portrayed, or be something very opposite to get the Magritte's 'This is not a Pipe' effect. 

2. Dinner tables. 
A meal conveys a lot of meanings. Photographing tables right after a meal can show the atmosphere in which the meal was taken, social setting and ideas of health, etiquette and traditions. Sometimes it might even show the conversations that were talked about, whether people were in a hurry, if they knew the others at the table, etc. I would like to go to different settings, like work spaces, family homes, school canteens, etc. 

3. Music
Even though we cannot hear the music in an image. By showing the musicians or dancers and their settings and costumes, you can get an idea of which kind of music is listened to. I could go to concerts, cafes, schools and places in Delhi to show Bollywood dancers. Also in temples and churches you will hear different types of music that can already be guessed by its setting and the people in it. The result should be image in which people can hear the specific types of music, just through looking at the photographs.

4. Unemployment
I want to show what people do when they are unemployed, so what they do instead of working. Even though the photographs might not directly show that the subject has no job, through captions I think I can portray the inner feelings and frustrations about not having a job. I would like to photograph a wide range of people from different social classes and show the similarities and differences in the struggles they face.

5. Haunted places
I read an article about the most haunted places in Delhi and there are quite a few of them! I'd go there and take images of the places and at the same time interview the people who believe the places are haunted and in what ways they experience it. Some of these places are holy places that people visit for the purpose of communicating with a spirit, others are houses where people have been murdered.

6. Deserted houses
During the partition of India in 1947 there was a mass movement of Muslims going to Pakistan and Hindus coming to India. In about 1 year 2 million people died and a terrible polarisation between religions came about. I talked to a friend who visited a village outside of Delhi where there are deserted homes of Muslim families in which nobody wants to live anymore because there used to be Muslim families there and they think the houses are unclean. I would like to photograph these places and maybe interview some villagers who might know what happened to these families and how they now look at these houses and their former inhabitants.

7. Diary
When I was in high school I kept a diary. When reading it 25 years later I realise how much I made myself completely dependent on God and how much this influenced the decisions I made, my self esteem and preparedness for the future. I would like to take out quotes from the diaries and visualise them. Maybe give a new interpretation of what I used to think or show how certain ideas became true or the opposite and how my upbringing and way of thinking has influenced in how I am today as a person and a mother of teenagers.

8. Twins
Being one of twins and having twins myself I would like to photograph the specific bond that exist between twins. Again, I'd use quotes from my diary and take photographs of my children that reflect the same feelings and frustrations that I experienced myself. 

I'm still doubting which one to choose. I do notice that I have been taking a lot of documentary style photographs, especially because I've lived in such photogenic places over the past years. In order to practice a more conceptual way of photographing, I think I will challenge myself more with the more personal options. Although I am eager to do all projects! I'll send this list to my tutor and see what he thinks.