Chacun voit midi à sa porte

All studies begins with a desire; a desire to understand the changing world around us. My desire, not my only desire but one which would come to fluently preoccupy my thoughts and actions until I became possessed by it, was a desire to travel and explore. It held me with such conviction that came to refer to it as simply the desire.

I could have booked a flight, gone to some far fetched community in South America, or backpacked around south-east Asia; but that isn’t what I wanted, that would have been simply running away. I wanted to tame my wanderlust and leave with dignity; to do something constructive in the world.

Now a plan is in place, and soon I’ll leave my home, these familiar cities, the buildings, and all that I have grown accustomed to. I’ll soon find myself in Malawi in east Africa, working alongside a community to help alleviate the effects of poverty in a small way. Sure, I’ll have my camera and my notebook, but I’ll also have something to offer the place I go in return. I will live, work, struggle and celebrate alongside people in Malawi

I spent the past year documenting my home city. Before I used a camera, I used my eyes and my ears, and I practised holding a transient mindset and a third person perspective; I documented the familiar place from which I am about to leave to go document a very unfamiliar place. For myself that was of equal importance to the trip at hand; I had to first see with new eyes the place from which I was born; to un-familiarise with the familiar.

This is perhaps the most self-indulgent of all my photographic studies, it reflects myself and my frustrations while trying to be at home in northern England. In the images, there is an explicit distaste for the landscape around myself; a distaste for cities, for modern-life, social conformity, and all the the straight and rigid lines which shape an urban landscape. Although without this distaste, the desire to explore would have not arisen. I feel guilty to admit my distaste for my home, there’s seems something strikingly immature and not noble about the denunciation; and because I love the people. That is why I haven’t included any portraiture in this study; it’s about my anguish with a place not the inhabitants.

Below, I have made a fairly large selection of the photographs, but the selection process was difficult. I believe these images share a narrative for the viewer, and express the desire which underpins the study.

 

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