Someday You Will Get The Best Of Me

March 31, 2009

The head of the P&I department nominated me and three other students to this faculty award committee. Unfortunately, none of us have met up, no one created forms for people to nominate a faculty member for the award, and we have no one and nothing to turn in for tomorrow’s deadline. At first I didn’t really care because I didn’t ask to be nominated. I’m busy enough, and the three other people nominated are seniors. We didn’t apply for these positions, we didn’t want these positions.

But at the same time, I feel kind of honored. And I’ve completely direspected that duty. I’m trying to care more, to be less apathetic, to be more active, but this is a big Fail on my part. Our faculty is pretty fucking awesome, and none of them will have the chance to receive recognition.


Bring The Funk On Home

March 30, 2009

Alright. So my Arab-American families project is pretty much falling through for this semester, which I’m really disappointed about. I was really excited about it, but at this point, I can’t possibly turn in a decent body of work since I haven’t taken any pictures.

So I’m going back to my original idea: gay bars. Specifically, the Cubby Hole (for now). It’s a group of people I’ve sort of gotten to know, and I think it’s worth taking a look at this bar through a photographic lens. Not only is the bar just fun to be in and to look at, but the people who run it don’t seem flamboyant like some might expect. Even the people who go there aren’t flaming. I just find it intriguing since my mom says she didn’t like gay bars. When she realized she was a lesbian and wanted to meet people, she felt like gay bars were the worst place because everyone just wants to hook up. But here, while people definitely want to hook up, there’s a sense of community. Not a solid, complete one, but it’s getting there.

Quite honestly, I’m not sure why I want to do it. I just don’t want to photograph old people like Joe suggested.

Wanna Shake Your Tree

March 21, 2009

While writing a rough lesson plan for a photo class I’d like to teach (stay tuned!), I decided to look up the price of disposable cameras. While thinking about the differences between using a disposable camera versus the cameras I have now, I have decided to buy myself one and shoot with it for my next Adv Doc class. I’ve been carrying around this chunky digital camera (which I love, don’t get me wrong), and I’m always scared to use it. With a disposable camera, people won’t think twice about what I’m doing, really. And it will hopefully help me approach people more, since there’s no zoom.

I think it’s a cool idea. I’m excited. At least for now.

I’m Not Aware of Too Many Things

March 19, 2009

After NYU had this tragic tantrum, it’s nice to see that protests and assemblies are still a driving force everywhere else. (Not to say I don’t support TBNYU’s cause, but really, that was just really poorly planned and executed.)

I did a project last year consisting of images of people acting for change. Most of the images weren’t fromt the US, and I think it’s really amazing to look at different countries to see what is so valued that masses of people will gather and defend it.

I also heard something else in an interview with Jonathan Torgovnik, whose work Intended Consequences: Rwandan Children Born of Rape is on display at Aperture. He said that all documentary and journalism photographers are all activists. We feel a need to do what we do, but at the same time, we recognize the limits of our work and want to go the extra mile. That made me feel good. 🙂

I’ll Smile And You’ll Wave

March 18, 2009

I’m surprised at how much shock there is over what the pope said about condoms. Really, people? Come on. He’s the fucking pope. Of course he’s not going to be an advocate of condoms. Though he did make an excellent point that I feel is a bit overlooked: “The Roman Catholic Church says marital fidelity and sexual abstinence are the best way to prevent the spread of HIV.” From my understanding and education, that statement is, in fact, true.

But yes, I know, that clearly isn’t the case, and it’s damn near impossible people will change. Condoms are good things. Free condoms are even better. But another quote that bothered me: “Rebecca Hodes, of the Treatment Action Campaign in South Africa said: ‘His opposition to condoms conveys that religious dogma is more important to him than the lives of Africans.” He’s the fucking pope, it’s kind of his job. What does he care about these people who “commit sin” unless they’re willing to repent? You know, it kind of reminds me of what’s going on in Gaza and how Hamas cares more about their ideals and demands than the lives of the civilians they should be defending.

But what do I know. I’m just a photo major.

The Duke

March 16, 2009

Today I volunteered at the AAFSCNY, working with kids in the after school program. Recently some of the kids have become interested in learning to crochet (i.e. they want me to make them something). I’m always surprised when the boys want to learn, since knitting/crocheting/crafty things are usually perceived as girly. But it’s awesome, and they’re usually better than the girls.

I noticed that, while I was teaching one of the boys, he had a really tight grasp on the needle, but he was trying to move it slowly and carefully. It occurred to me that, in a way, I was teaching him how to be gentle. Here are all these hyper, aggressive, energetic boys who can’t seem to control themselves, and here they are, sitting down attempting to discipline themselves. I found it very satisfying. I love teaching kids – especially boys – to make something, and then see them work hard at it.

This is why we need art in our schools. These kids aren’t learning how to make something peacefully. They aren’t learning to express themselves the way art allows them to. They aren’t learning patience and satisfaction. And I’m not just talking about painting and photography and music. Crocheting, weaving, woodshop, dance, all alternative forms of expression need to be put back in schools. Why do you think so many kids are diagnosed with ADHD so young these days? Why do you think boys seem harder to handle in the classroom? Give them art and self-expression. The world will be a better place!

When You Walk Into The Room

March 11, 2009

What’s up with this? And this? And this?? AND this??? What’s going on?!? Just this week there’s been at least four shootings, three in different countries. My friend Daniel Darwin and his friend wrote this musical called American Breakfast about the growing epidemic of school shootings. At the time I didn’t see it, but ever since I’ve noticed more and more gun violence. In fact, when the musical premiered, there was that first school shooting in India. It was spooky.

Why? Why are people so angry?

You Can Leave Your Hat On

March 3, 2009

“…our desire for beauty is likely to outlast its object because, as Kant once observed, unlike all other pleasures, the pleasure we take in beauty is inexhaustible.” – Elaine Scarry, On Beauty and Being Just

I’m writing a paper for my Poetics of Witnessing class about the simplicity of beauty but how we complicate it. I’m looking at a segment from the movie What The Bleep Do We Know?! regarding a study done by Masaru Emoto. It’s not scientifically accurate or respected, but it proposes an important concept: what would the world be like if it was full of positive energy and emotions? You can’t help but entertain and appreciate the idea, even if the study seems ridiculous.