Paleontology by Vadim Stein
Polaroids by Andrei Tarkovsky_______
“It falls apart at any attempt of touching it.”
On the Tumblr-sphere, some of you may have already encountered this bad-ass British Pakistani Photographer Sanaa Hamid through her viral Cultural Appropriation Series . But as a Pakistani woman myself, this particular series rendered a powerfully familiar and nuanced exploration of women’s body politics across the Subcontinent.
“Through Her Eyes”shows her attempts to conform to culturally inherited expectations and ideologies that are sometimes imposed on her.
It is portrayed through a series of performative self portraits, using the aesthetic style of Bollywood films and Pakistani actresses that her Mother admired at the same age as her. It is a collaboration between herself and her mother, as the latter is given the responsibility to press the shutter, immortalising her as an image of a particular character; literally “Through Her Eyes”.
It is an exploration of self, while also questioning how possible it is to know those closest to us, and the absence of our true self even with your own mother, who should be the person closest to you.
By displaying the work as a series of four photographs, Hamid takes the viewer through a succession of personalities, encouraging speculation about the photographer herself and her true identity. Hamid reinterprets the self portrait to make reference topical issues of multiculturalism and ethnic identity. Her discomfort in being in front of the camera is another important aspect of the process, as it is parallel with the difficulty of becoming the character.
Also discussed is the modern depictions of Pakistani women, who have very little positive representation within the media and the beauty industry. Hamid’s intention is not to cast a negative view upon her cultural background, but to create awareness about the distinctly different moral guidelines she lives by compared to British culture. In her role as Bollywood stars such as Meena Kumari (images 1 & 2) or Rekha (image3) and Devika (image 4), she is accepted not just by her culture, but by society. She is perfect.
You can find our more about Sana and her other work that powerfully explores gender, race, religion, and multiculturalism on her website
A Czech photographer has found a way to work with photographic emulsions and turn them into powerful portraits of anxiety. Curious? Read on to take a look at some of his photos and learn about his impressive technique!
arthur kleinjan, paris looks. 1999-2001
Between 1999 and 2001, the artist spent hours perched in a balcony above the Sacré Coeur church in Paris, watching the people below. As tourists struck poses for souvenir snapshots, he would take a second photograph from behind.
“Sometimes it takes a few seconds for their friends to get the camera ready, and they suddenly don’t know what to do with their bodies. They ask themselves, what leg do I stand on? A bag, or a bottle of water should be out of the image, so they keep it behind their back. They design themselves into what they think is a nice picture … I wanted to show the moment of alteration, as the tourists transform themselves into an image. They seem very self-conscious about the way they look. Vulnerability is revealed. Their discomfort with their own body, as they stand there, is isolated in time and space, waiting to become a future memory.” (x)
Arvida Bystrom and Petra Collins for the Vice Photo Issue 2013
Grandmother And Odette Visit The Park by Duane Michals, 1992
Un Hiver en Couleur by Florent Tanet
In a world where the act of touch is reserved to those that people are comfortable with, Renaldi breaks through the stereotype and creates images that suggest that these complete strangers are close – like friends or family. In his words:
I am a New York city based photographer who began a life long relationship with photography back in high school in 1984. I few years ago I became interested in the dynamics of group portraiture and this led me to the project you see here. The premise of this work is simple: I meet two or more people on the street who are strangers to each other, and to me. I ask them if they will pose for a photograph together with the stipulation that they must touch each other in some manner. Frequently, I instruct or coach the subjects how to touch. Just as often, I let their tentative physical exploration play out before my camera with no interference. Though these situations involve orchestrated collaborations between subject and photographer, the emotions captured are both genuine and honest. Touching Strangers encourages viewers to think about how we relate physically to one another, and to entertain the possibility that there is unlimited potential for new relationships with almost everybody passing by.