the most unusual case of ***anahita or Ulysses’ journey ~ Soul stirrer

ulysses by ***anahita

Go to ***anahita’s photostream

***anahita is a documentary photographer in the REAL sense of it. She documents her own life. She documents the struggle of her son Ulysses. Her own struggle. Her family. Her surroundings. Her “états d’âme”. She goes to the market, she walks in the street, she visits her mother-in-law, using her camera, she documents. As if she did NOT want to miss anything, as if she wanted to remember everything, but more so because she is curious, fascinated, attached, connected to her world. She photographs to be here and now. ***anahita is not flinching. She is a fearless warrior, as defined by Chögyam Trungpa, one who gives a gentle but steely look at her own life. She is a modern Samouraï. After I look at ***anahita’s work, I feel she is somebody I know because she allows me to come inside her very own world. There is a gentle transparency in what she reveals. She is not exposing any dark secret, she is showing the suchness of being ***anahita. She is not recording the events of her life mindlessly with a cell phone at the end of her arm, instead she is crafting elegant and sensitive images. Her images are in a sense not photographic, instead they are a way of seeing. The camera is used to give form to what goes on in her heart and mind.
Interestingly, on Flickr there is little of that kind of photography. Most of the documentary photography I saw is done in/of foreign countries. On Flickr I see a lot a food dishes taken in eateries, but I have no sense of the life of the people who ate them. The horrid assignment 360 tells me NOTHING about the photographers. It only forces them to go through the motions, when you treat photography as homework, you get what you pay for. And people do get paid to teach those classes? Photography schools should hire ***anahita to teach student to document their very own life. Who are you? NO MORE SELF PORTRAIT under which you can hide! Showing what surrounds you is a self-portrait. The way you show your world is a revealing self-portrait. Every photograph you take IS a self-portrait. Tell us who you are without being in the picture. Ban the 365 and the self-portrait assigments for ever. Who are the people in your life? PLEASE show us some candid shots of them. How are you feeling right now? How can you show us that through an image? Give us an idea what it is like to live in a small town of the Middle West. Tell us about your parents, your friends, your joy, your emptiness, your funk, tell us visually what’s cooking in your life. Meaning through photography. You cannot hide anyhow, you ARE what you photograph.
In a thousand years from now will they have a good idea of who we were when they look at the archives of Flickr? Doubtful.
***anahita turns her day to day ordinary activities into visual statements oozing with meaning. In the act of photographing she recasts her world. As Albert Camus said so elequently: “The artist transforms the world in his/her own image”. Her witnessing through images is a powerful statement of who she is. Unabashedly she opens the doors to her world and asks us to come in. We are connecting with her through her images. She could be our sister. She’s already adopted us.


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