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A Different World
I ask a refugee what he misses the most, he tells me it is one shoe box with all his photographs, images of parents and friends in it. He said “I know well, I will create everything again, the house, the property, and the furniture. But I will never be young again, to take a photo of myself. Momo KaporNot so long ago, photography was much more complex to use, and not so easily accessible to an ordinary person. The family album was a kind of treasure. Family albums were mostly made of photographs of all those moments that people wanted to remember their whole life. Recorded memories of beautiful and happy moments, some small achievements… I noticed that other artists like me are interested in this topic, but also historians, sociologists, scientists. Perhaps this intersection for family albums is common to all people, of course, with some other motives. Some people see patterns of life in them, some see historical documents, some see memories, etc.Interpretation of meaning behind photographs assumes that they are means of communication. Family photographs can tell a story. One photograph can be a mini-slice of an occurrence, but the accumulation of pictures begins to reveal threads of consistent themes and patterns.Due to some circumstances (war, inflation, etc.) I do not have a family album. But I do have photos of my parents and their family. I am cutting figures from their photo albums and creating my own. I consider photographic media as a reflection of a personal point of view, not reality. So, I do not mind looking at these photos as a reflection of our existence. I create my memories. The camera does not simply record an event but also records what the photographer chooses to see. Photographs are statements about one’s perception of the world. They are a reflection and definition of self. I’m creating a family album not only with the intention to see where we were and what we did, but to record a certain atmosphere that represents us as a family. Because on many family photos we easily get the wrong impression. Photographs of family members often are constructed with a skewed concept of reality. They, usually, depict an idealized family, meaning a husband, wife and children, enjoying pleasurable moments. “I realized these were all the snapshots which our children would look at someday with wonder, thinking their parents had lived smooth, well-ordered lives and got up in the morning to walk proudly on the sidewalks of life, never dreaming the raggedy madness and riot of our actual lives, our actual night, the hell of it, the senseless emptiness.” Jack Kerouac, On the Road
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