During the research for my FMP, that is supposed to convey my “Contrasts” chosen theme, I had to carefully examine many facets of this ubiquitous word. Contrast has been a constant in my life, and probably the best teacher I’ve ever had. Most differences between good and bad can be actually learned only through experience, therefore the observable contrast is, afterwards, a valuable lesson and a reminder for future actions and choices. Contrast is also something omnipresent in one’s life, since most of the time happiness alternates with sadness, depression or other sort of crisis. Few are those who can convert the contrast between such events into an all time serene disposition.
One of the first theme that came into mind was the dichtomy between introverts and extroverts. This is a popular theme nowadays, as the later ones are more favoured and proposed as having a “normal” behaviour, while the first ones seem to trigger not so positive reactions. Sure, in a social context extroverts have the upper hand while the introverts seem shy, weird or at least hard to approach. But is this enough to label them as misfits? The succesful admissions at Standford University, for example, seem to belong almost exclusively to extrovert personalities, and this seems to be the unwritten policy of the university, and probably not the only one. As I recently started to read Susan Cain’s book “The power of introverts”, I’m really interested in the subject but I still have’nt decided if I should pursue this theme for the FMP.
A second theme that I explored was the powerful contrast between the urban areas ad the rural ones, in the light of another project of mine where I examined the rural life of an old couple living near Brasov, Romania. As opposed to the fast paced life of the mega-cities, what I encoutered there was a slow life, driven by spiritual and natural rhytms. Comparing this with the life I lead in London since quite a few years now, it is hard to pin point some similarities, even at a superficial level. Popular customs that the folks use to perpetuate in the rural areas for centuries are, in urban areas, subject to a constant change following social and technological trends that change by the minute. This is an interesting dichotomy and may be the theme of my FMP.
Finally, the subject I enjoyed the most during this preliminary research was exploring the 80’s and the deep changes they brought to our society, whether we are talking about an astonishing pop culture, the rise of the PC or the great historical events that took place during this period. At a personal level and in relation to photography, I remember the eighties as a decade that saw great progresses in the lenses field (coatings, auto-focus etc.) and the large stashes of photos generated by the analogue photography. I believe the influencers of the 80’s, be it objects, beliefs of individuals, had a great impact on the contemporary culture and their role can be specifically identified in what we see today in the world. Basically, by using the 80’s, a person that is not subjected to everyday newsfeeds from various fields can extrapolate pretty precise today’s world.