4D Assignment 1- Curating Self


Our first project, ‘Curating Self’ was a rather personal one, requiring us to curate our sense of self and personal identity and expressing this through images.

We had to create a picture story which would reveal different aspects of ourselves through three different assigned tasks: ‘Me’ (introducing myself), ‘Object and representation of self'(choosing an object significant to me) and ‘My World’ (sharing a place that is significant to me or fascinates me).

In this project, we were encouraged to explore manipulative techniques such as framing and cropping. Task 1 in particular encouraged the use of these techniques to ‘lead the viewer into constructing a certain reality when the images are seen together or beside each other’.

This was quite a challenge as I struggled with deciding what made my identity. Family? Hobbies? I decided in the end that first and foremost, I was a Muslim. Without going into too much detail, generally,Muslims have been labelled as terrorists. It is much difficult for Muslim women, who wear the scarf or the niqab (covering everything except the eyes) who are judged for covering up. Inspired by Jo Spence, who used photography to challenge society on issues of gender, class, mortality, identity, I decided that my images would play on this stereotype Muslims are placed in, and experimented with cropping, especially in the second picture to bring about the dark, mysterious brooding atmosphere around the persona I’ve introduced.

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For Task 2, as strange as it sounds, there was no doubt that my object of choice would be my cardigan, the reason being that it was my first piece of clothing that I bought with my own money. Coming from a family with many sisters, clothes were always hand- me-downs, so to be able to buy my own cardigan for the first time sort of marked my ‘independence’. Not only that, I’ve had this cardigan for many years now and it serves as a reminder of home back in Malaysia and is in a sense a safety blanket. I bring it with me all the time and use it for everything and anything. In the photos I wanted to evoke my affection for it and to show how the cardigan brings me great comfort, both physically and emotionally.


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Lastly, in Task 3, I wanted to introduce the viewer into my world- which is of course my home- a place that makes me feel safe, peaceful and serene.My images reflect how I see Valencia, my residence area. I chose to do several close up shots to reflect my the way I view things and my attention to detail. As I walk I usually notice the little things like the soft, carpeted moss on the bark of the tree, the bees buzzing around the red flowers. 

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Feel free to comment down below if you have any questions!


8 thoughts on “4D Assignment 1- Curating Self

  1. June Ming

    Hi Widad! It’s the second time I view your photos, and close up, I can really see that the “gun” you’re holding. In class it was tiny and I didn’t focus it at all. The big reveal in the 3rd photo really cracked me up. Hahahaha! Febreeze!
    Since you mentioned “intimacy” between one and one’s object, I can REALLY SEE and feel the intimacy and “relationship” you have with your grey cardigan! Yup. Ain’t dat true love LOL (;
    Looking forward to your future work! 😀

  2. Widad Darke

    I’m glad you saw! I think the whole class had no idea what I was talking about. because they couldn’t see the second picture properly. Haahah I’m glad you get the vibe that I have towards my beloved cardigan! I cant wait to see your story for next week! (:

  3. Junyuan

    I love your sense of humor on depicting how the world view towards Muslims. Your framing style on your loved places and object is distinctive as well. Looking forward to your next series too.

  4. Andrew Wong

    Great work Widad! I loved your use of lighting in the first series to create tension, only to reveal you reaching for a water gun. Your last series of pictures perfectly captures the beauty of your home. Looking forward to your next work!

    • Widad Darke

      Thanks Andrew! Haha its not a water gun actually! It’s a Febreeze bottle. I guess I didn’t convey it well enough- the last shot was meant to reveal that I was just a ‘normal’ girl who was cleaning her cupboards using a cloth (and a febreeze bottle lol).I’m looking forward to your too!

  5. Eugene

    Hey Widad,

    I like the way you frame up the pictures, its convey a complete and leading story.

    My views: It seems like you are telling a story of ‘Problems a Muslim faced in her life’. (Correct me if I’m wrong). The use of lighting and shadows as a medium adds up as a bonus too.
    Like how I share with the class after your presentation; A girl who needed warm and comfort was mistaken as a bad person due to her background.

    Anyway, good job!
    Looking forward to your project 2


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