So after the first Assignment we got the next one two weeks ago called "Inspired by..." this gave me an opportunity to research different Photographers and do a project inspired by one of them. I thought of Pieter Hugo straight away as he is one of my favorite photographers.
Pieter Hugo is a young south African photographer famous for his unsettling images of the continents marginal people mostly in Africa. He was brought up in Cape Town and self taught himself photography. Hugo has called himself “a political-with-a-small-p photographer, it’s not hard not to be one as soon as you pick up the camera in South Africa”. He generally takes controversial captivating photos and that’s the beauty of his photography, it’s different and illustrates the truth.
My favorite project of his is called The Hyena and Other men but I chose to take inspiration from a project he did, called “Looking Aside”. This is what he said about his project “In this intimate and unsettling series of images, created between 2003-2006, the artist points his lens at those people whose appearance makes us "look aside". Hugo's subjects are the blind, people with albinism, the aged,and his family and himself. In doing so, he forces us to confront ourselves and our preconceptions and prejudices, and question why are we so awkward when we encounter people who are unusual in some way. In these frontal declaratory portraits, we see what we usually choose to look at from the corners of our eyes."
These are a few photos from the project he did.
These are a few photos from the project he did.
The last picture is actually Hugo. He put himself into the project because he classes himself as an African but others don’t see him as one because he is white. 'My homeland is Africa, but I'm white,' he says. 'I feel African, whatever that means, but if you ask anyone in South Africa if I'm African, they will almost certainly say no. I don't fit into the social topography of my country and that certainly fueled why I became a photographer.
This part of his project has truly inspired me because his work is so controversial but it tells the truth and that’s exactly what I want to do. I want it to tell the truth and I want it to be powerful and shocking. I want to address an issue that most people don’t want to talk about or avoid talking about. In Africa it was Albinism, the elderly and the blind in UK one of the problems is Racism, and segregation with people who are different. I addressed this issue in my project. Racism and segregation is a very sensitive subject and most people feel uncomfortable talking about it or accepting it’s still around. If something is unsettling, the majority of people will disregard or avoid confronting the problem.
The project is a story of a girl and her day and how people see her. In this project I am forcing everyone who sees the photos to confront our selves, and question why we are so awkward around those who are a different and the fact that maybe we are the ones with the problem not the others. The project is not meant to offend anyone but meant to make you have a reaction. I chose to use a mix raced model, to really confront the problem as not only is the model black but also white which makes the whole situation more awkward. I originally thought just to use a normal mask but I wanted impact to my project so I used a pigs mask as pigs are normally associated with dirt and are seen as disgusting animals much like one would see of a different race, rather than a human being like the rest of us.
We had 2 weeks to do this project and I will tell you now 2 weeks goes by so fast! I was afraid I wouldn’t get the pictures done in time because I was severely ill on the weekend I was going to photograph, but I pulled it through and did it with determination to do well and not let down my teachers but also myself. I really believe that if anyone wants to do well, one must be prepared to sacrifice aspects of their life, and work hard because success does not come by magic but by actually doing work even if it means not seeing your friends on the weekend or not going to a party because those things will not get your grades up or help you in the future. I truly believe in sacrificing non important things for your own future. I will admit the last 3 years of high school and 6thform I was in, I put fun, going out and friends first and put my education last and it’s not like I regret it because I’ve learnt from it, and I’ve changed completely but I know I could have done better. So I’m telling you now so you wont miss out on the most crucial years of your life, just put your head down and do your best and friends and fun will come later and trust me you’ll feel the satisfaction then, knowing you’ve achieved something great.
I hope you liked my idea and the images and understood the concept behind the images and I’m sorry for such a lengthy post but once I start writing I can’t stop, but I don’t want to bore you all, but I hope you got the idea behind my project.
Thanks so much for reading, and I will see you all next week, on Friday!