On a recent trip to Bangladesh I was able to see a large range of landscapes and meet people who call both urban and rural communities home.
We worked hard, long days, but met an incredible range of people along the way. While I wasn’t directly interviewing people on camera, when I had the chance (with translator) to strike up a conversation I was most interested in trying to understand as much as possible about peoples lives. Working for a range of NGO’s in Bangladesh the more we talked it would inevitably lead to either difficulties being faced in peoples lives or an improved situation as a result of one or another development organisatinons projects.
I couldnt help but ask about peoples happiness. The responses were mixed, understandably.
In rural communities visited, some incredibly isolated, people spoke of wanting to move to Dhaka with wind of greater job prospects at greater pay.
But is it worth it?
Amongst the few people I spoke to in an urban slum in Dhaka all had originally migrated from a rural area. Was it worth it for them, some said yes, some with hindsight didnt think so.
These conversations have left me mulling over whether the human condition of battling the notion of ‘the grass is greener’ is universal. While our meal sizes of this idea are totally relevant to our individual context, I cant help but wonder if its intrinsic to humanity.
Plenty of time for this idea to breath.
In late March I traveled along the Mid North Coast of New South Wales to run workshops for students at Tafe and upper secondary education campuses. I was impressed and inspired by the level of engagement I found amongst the young people participating. The workshops were run in accordance with the launch of the Genwire artspace an online space for young people from the area to showcase their photography.
As part of my presentation I showed the participants a list of my visual sources of inspiration which includes
As part of the ongoing support for the Genwire project I will be commenting on photos uploaded to the website and will help nominate the top photographs to be published in local newspapers.
In regards to giving advice to other young photographers, the best thing in my opinion is the tool you are using to read this blog post right now. The internet provides a world of knowledge and visual inspiration at your fingertips that was previously unattainable from ones own laptop. Here is a list of colourful advice from another photographers blog who cataloged the words of wisdom from 35 Magnums photographers, some of the best in the business in my opinion.
I look forward to following the development of the Genwire online artspace of the coming weeks and months.
Last Sunday, April 1st 2012, my photo ran on the cover of Body & Soul magazine as well as a spread inside. Below are the tearsheets and here is a link to the photo essay that was launched on their website at the same time.