Monday, June 20, 2011

Self Portrait #8

So life has been crazy busy these days. A part of me congratulates myself for stuffing life so full that I can't find the time to do photography...This might sound strange coming from a person who is having a mad love affair with her camera and even thought about naming her...But you know you're doing something right when life is so vibrant and busy that it equals that feeling of clicking the shutter button! Plus I truly believe that every photographer should have a camera-less quota they must fill every week. There is a huge difference experiencing life from behind your camera vs. in front of it. The true goal is to be so good you can do both simultaneously with great flare and personality! ;)
So this morning I hauled my carcass out of bed at 6am to shoot my self portrait...had an internal debate as to whether i could physical get the wardrobe down the huge twisting stairs and out to the front yard...decided the probability of injury was greater than success and proceeded to tear my bedroom completely apart (and when i say completely i mean there is a couch currently sitting on my bed). Then I shoved myself into all sorts of awkward spaces, all before my morning cup of coffee.
This week on the job, we've been dealing a lot with human trafficking. Human trafficking statistics: who is affected, what countries it occurs in most, and what it looks like here in Thailand. We are partnering with MTV-Exit, who will be putting on a concert on June 25th here in Chiang Mai, to end human trafficking and promote awareness. Our ARI team is working one-on-one with a partnering org who provides a safe home for girls who have escaped from being trafficked, to create artwork and messages for the maze. The more you learn about this horrible occurrence, the more you start to look at the people around you in a different way. The sweet faced little Burmese girls who fill our yards with the happy sounds of laughter every Thursday, they are so vulnerable to this that it makes my heart hurt.
When I started shooting this self portrait, I was thinking about how we are forced into places, consigned to boxes, and put into roles that aren't exactly our own and don't fit. As I was editing the images in photoshop, I started to see visual similarities between my poses and the images from our human trafficking research. In a way human trafficking is the ultimate way of being forced into a role that is not your own.
Learning about human trafficking and working with people who have been victimized by it, changes your whole perspective on the men and women you see working the streets. It makes me absolutely LOATH the dirty little middle aged western men who come to Thailand for a very particular and horrible purpose. Some days I am just too embarrassed to be a Westerner in this world, and that is not something I typically say. "Western" has a very different meaning and connotation to many Thai people. Some days I feel like I can never do enough good to make up for all the horrible bad in this world and that is the most terrible feeling!

 After 8 consecutive self portrait craziness, we're still going strong! Check out missy Inge's beautiful creation this week: Inge Kathleen blog.

7 comments:

Aaron said...

I think this might be my favorite one yet -- the kitchen one in a close second. Beautiful work. :)

Mandy McConaha said...

Thanks Aaron! I love the feedback especially on these crazy self portrait ones. They always say it's hard to be objective with your own work, try being the subject as well! :)

Inge Kathleen said...

I agree. This one is awesome, and I love the deeper meaning behind it. The self-portaits are really just another way to communication what you're feeling. I love it!

Flou said...

Amazing work ! you are very creative, I love your work

Photographer Alton Strupp I The Blog said...

Does this mean you're coming out of the closet? : )

buildingatlantis said...

I really like how you link the mood and content of the self-portraits to what's going on in your life at them moment. It's inspiring!

Mandy McConaha said...

Miranda! How you be chica?! Thanks for checkin' out the crazy SP challenge we're doing!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

ShareThis