New Land (excerpt), Future of History: A Group Exhibition of Art and Technology, Boston Cyberarts, Boston, MA
In 1903, W.E.B. DuBois, an African-American sociologist, coined the phrase “double consciousness” in his book The Souls of Black Folk, a term widely used to describe black subjectivity. He wrote, “It is a peculiar sensation, this double-consciousness, this sense of always looking at one’s self through the eyes of others, of measuring one’s soul by the tape of a world that looks on in amused contempt and pity.” The East has traditionally been subjected to similar social oppression: looking at itself through the lens of the foreigner, considering itself the ‘Other’. The camera, a device that claims to record objectively, has played a large part in this through the actions of its operators. Many have traveled to places such as the Middle East and/or South Asia with pre-conceived notions, and brought back their versions of these communities through images of war, corrupt governments, and terrorist organizations. This work aims to challenge the mainstream western narrative by providing a view devoid of political opinion. As an American citizen living in Lahore, Pakistan for three years, I have documented daily life on the streets of my neighborhood. Through recording houses, signs, powerlines, people, the everyday, carrying around my camera and tripod has opened up the space for intercultural conversations that have allowed me to develop a relationship with this ‘Other’ land.