Assignment 1: Encountering Culture (Initial thoughts) – 150 MC

“ Are you in harmony or in conflict within the social structure that you are a part of?”
So the assignment for this module, we had to think about culture. This means about how we see it, talk about it, embrace it in our daily lives. You may not think you do, but undoubtedly there would be something that would show you how you how address culture, even in the most obscure ways. So for our final piece we have to create ten photographic pieces that must be analogue in their nature ( an example would be printing a print from a negative).

So when I was told the project, I started to think about the various things that I am in harmony with in my social structure, such as sports, going out, drinking etc. And those would be good, easy places to start photographing, but really it isn’t that much of a challenge.
So I started to think outside the box, looking at aspects in which the majority of people tend to conflict with in our social structure. And I eventually came to the idea of those that are seen to be on the outskirts of society. now by this I don’t mean people living away from others, but those that aren’t considered to be an integrated part of society.

And I feel that this is actually an important issue somewhat. We claim that today we are all equal in society, but yet there is still prejudice towards certain people. And the two main groups i want to start focusing on are the homeless and the LGBT group (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual). The reason for each is as follows:

– With the homeless, we all tend to try and ignore them in some way. I know for a fact I do it, and many others do it. May it be by pretending to look at our phones, looking in the opposite direction or just walking a tad bit faster. Why? Because we don’t want others to associate ourselves with them, as if they are scared of this fact. But yet we forget that once these people were like us. And we try to push past the idea that we could in-fact be like them one day.
So I want to actually get closer to these people, to see what they truly are like rather than having pre-planned ideas of them, and to reveal their true nature really.
– With the LGBT idea, it’s something that is mentioned all the time in the media and school as well. And it’s a subject that causes awkwardness when being discussed. And the funny thing is, if we don’t know the person we don’t tend to judge them that much. But if we are given any other details about them, we tend to build up impressions of them. I have friends that are Bi and Gay, and yet even though I know this I don’t think differently about them. But to someone else, being told this snippet of information can change their opinion very quickly.
So what I want to address is that we shouldn’t really judge a book by its cover, but regardless we should be more accepting of everyone.

But I just don’t want to stick to the idea of the socially outcast though. Another idea that I thought of was that of social pressures we face daily in order to fit into this social structure. For some it’s quite easy to just be able to enter one group. But for others it’s quite difficult, and it gets to the point where some force themselves to do stuff just so that they fit in. And it’s something not that many people tend to realise, nor just society seem to recognise it as well.
So what I want to look at is what pressures there are for my age group in the world today. But I want to show it in a way that makes us think about what we are doing. Do we or don’t we cave in to be accepted, or do we become our own person and do things our own way?

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