When I’m choosing my subjects I think a lot about the symbols that come with my choice of subject.
Working with troopers
For a long time I’ve worked with Stormtroopers as my main characters. With that choice of subject comes symbols and connotations that I, as a photographer, can’t change. I have to choose to work with or against them. When I am working with my troopers I’ve tried to ask and to find answers to many questions. A few of the questions that I’ve tried to researched are:
-What kind of person is a soldier/general that works for the imperial/rebel side of a war?
-What does he/she do in his/her spare time?
-How does he/she work? Practice? Play?
-Is there another side of his/her everyday life than just war, death and violence?
In the process of finding answers I’ve made photos, as well as looked at and read other sources to enrich myself. One source, out of many, that I come back to over and over again is Christopher Browning‘s book Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland. It’s a book about a battalion in Poland during the second world war. He shows the reader how the men in the battalion are a part of the final solution as well as they’re just ordinary men. These men were soldiers, but they’re also ordinary men, fathers and husbands.
Trying to find answers
In one way my choice of subject is a way to ask and find answers to questions. And my photographs are my way of telling you about that process. So in the end, I’m only telling you about who I am and how I see the world…
Great short article – thought provoking! I have been thinking about this especially when it comes to wealth. I had the opportunity as a missionary to serve in an are that included the richest zip code in the US and the poorest. They were within 50 miles of each other at the time.
There were other fellow missionaries that were terrified to visit the wealthy neighborhoods. Maybe they were feeling inadequate to teach or something, but I found that even the super extremely wealthy (like you can’t see their massive mansion because of the expansive property), were just people.
They had their worries and their doubts, they had their life challenges and – it wasn’t easy. Being wealthy has its challenges.
I also saw the flip side knocking on doors in very dangerous neighborhoods where doors were caved in and held shut with thick heavy chains. We would change cuss words on the wall into other words and designs… people here were also just people.
There is a lot of content summed up in those two words.
Thank you Joseph for sharing your thoughts … and for all your nice word. I think we have to be open minded towards the people around us, and realize that we don’t know very little about other peoples worries and doubts…
Yes, I agree we are all humans. And humanism is a key value for me.
Interesting post Kristina. I think there is more here than the few words suggest. To be able to look beyond the obvious, to take the time to look at life through a different lens – even when that is through the eyes of soldiers involved in performing atrocities during WWII – takes courage and a willing to see beyond the status quo. Your words make me want to look beyond the obvious, to look deeper. Thank you for sharing your thought process. Now to go find that book….
I’m not sure how I should understand this comment. What do you mean? I’m lost in translation.
Everything is not always what it seems. 🙂
If I read your post correctly it says that you like to ask questions and that you like to look beyond obvious assumptions. You also like to take photographs and you use your photographs to ask even more questions. The questions you like to ask are morally ambiguous – hence the storm troopers fit your needs perfectly. What are they? Are they simple killing machines or something more complex?
I think we all could be killig machines to be frank. Dearest Shelly Thank YOU for giving me more insights to what you meant. /kristina
I’ve been enjoying your series, very poetic. The few words in each caption call up larger atmospheres. I also find it fascinating that Princess Leia has not revealed her face.
Thank you Leila! I’m not a person with may word when it come to my photography. I always find it hard to say what I mean it the right way, there is so much thought that goes in to the work that I do and have done, so I never seem to get it right. I always second guess myself, want to change, tell it a different way, with other words… and in the end I belive that the images says it all…
I’m even more happy that you like my work with Leia. It has been a long way to end up with this project. Leia was a difficult choice, it is hard to use such a well known figure (again). But I decided to go with Leia, because she is a princess… and I’m not – and that is not me, or just me. I don’t know jet, but I’m sure that I’ll find out. Leia was a difficult choice because I have had such a hard time with her as figure in the movies, but I’m starting to like her. She is growing on me 😉
As a friend said to me: “no one will give her the light you will do” I’m not sure she is right about the light, but I knew the moment she said it that I was stuck with Leia for a while. She will keep me company during 2017, at least as a reflection (every sunday). I hope you will like the work that comes as well 🙂
Such an interesting post, Kristina! The Toy Photography isn’t only the instrument of telling a story but also the way of answering the questions concerning the characters you choose! Thanks for sharing! The shot is very beautiful. 🙂