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