Life on an Embassy Compound
I live on an embassy compound in New Delhi. It’s a privileged life I never thought I would live. Our house is spacious and we have a lush garden right in the middle of a city of over 18 million people. We have staff who does everything for us, they cook, clean, do the laundry… we don’t even have to drive ourselves.
Even though we spend our days on the compound together, there is a world of difference between the local staff and the expats. The staff calls us mam and sir, I don’t even know all their names. The difference in our struggles and theirs is confrontational and guilt tripping.
This assignment asks to show my engagement with the lives, experiences and histories of my local community. Through the photographs and captions I hope to communicate the divide between the local staff and me, how I experience this and also the way I am perceived by the community. I have tried to reveal the differences in interaction and relationships through the images themselves, while keeping the captions very concise, with basic information about my knowledge of the subjects in the images.
The idea is that the total of the images and words will show the ambiguity of life in such a surreal community, and the distance and intimacy between people that were complete strangers to me a year ago.
Demonstration of technical and visual skills – materials, techniques, observational skills, visual awareness, design and compositional skills.
Realising that what is on the blog is not yet the final product; I am going to print out the images and glue them on paper, or maybe put them in a small album for assessment, for now I think that the photographs demonstrate my current photography skills. I have tried to bring variety in the photographs without loosing sight of the theme and I think this has worked quite well. I want to be more creative in the way I present my work, because now the presentation looks a lot like the presentation of my work that I did for Context and Narrative.
Quality of outcome – content, application of knowledge, presentation of work in a coherent manner, discernment, conceptualisation of thoughts, communication of ideas.
I am happy with the way the captions and photographs work together and that the images together convey an added meaning to how I look at and interact with my community. I have tried to be respectful to the people I have photographed while still staying true to how I look at my community. The research that I’ve done throughout the first chapter have shaped the way I have worked on this assignment. Especially Robbie Cooper’s work on the alter ego made me think about the different roles we have in our lives, how we look at ourselves and how to translate that visually.
Demonstration of creativity – imagination, experimentation, invention, development of a personal voice.
I see a development of my personal voice, but I certainly feel there is a lot more room to expand my creativity and work outside of my comfort zone. Not only do I feel hindered by lack of technical knowledge, I really want to become more skilled, not only in post processing, but also in taking photographs, lighting and design. I notice that I am not good at thinking things through from beginning till end, but that I just have to start and let the ideas develop while I’m working. I do have to be careful not wanting to rush and take the time to be inspired.
Context – reection, research, critical thinking (learning logs, critical reviews and essays).
This can be better, I am very aware of that. I still do much more reading and researching than I blog about and I need to change that in order to give a proper reflection of my learning curve. I feel that I am good at finding meaning in images and am able to reflect on what I see and read, but still lack the vocabulary to put it on paper. It’s all a matter of practice and just doing it, I guess!