Proposal for Documenting culture

My last project was very personal, I studied and explored aspect of my own identity and I have a better understanding of myself as a result. I feel that after finding myself, I can now find my practise. So for this project I will photograph what I’m passionate about. And that culture, specifically I want to study another culture to my own and to achieve this I will travel to Thailand.

The aim of my project is to document the national celebratory event of Songkran, as it’s a very unique tradition. But to add weight to this subject, I will also document some other Thai customs and traditions, and this can be further enhanced by being in the company of a Thai family. Ideas range from capturing Thai traditions like blessings, eating together, prayers at temples and their patriotic nature when come to their king, i.e. standing up for national anthems, displaying flags everywhere. Their spirituality- having spirit houses in every house- very traditional beliefs. And all aspects of traditional society with undercurrent of western influences culminating in the’ letting-go-of’ inhibitions in Songkran water festival.

Because im only going to be in Thailand for 17 days, I will have to find subjects to photograph in the UK, and so I have come up with the idea to contrast all of the above, by looking at the identity of being English. Also i could look at the traditions of the church and also its waning influence, or attending football matches and supporting clubs like a form religion. Protecting the home with alarms instead of spirit houses. And also photograph Clichéd English culture, i.e. fish and chips, cricket, Morris dancing, old style pubs. Maybe I could Highlight any possible decline in traditions, like the increase in families eating in front of TV. etc….    Also I contrast the Songkran event with Easter and St Georges day.

So now that I have some firm brainstorming under-way, the next step is to research the following,

English culture:

Martin Parr and Peter Dench, David Hurn, tom wood, Chris kilip

Asian cultures:

Steve McCurry, Werner Bischoff, Hiroji Kubota, Sebastiao Salgado, Alex Webb

American Documentary style:

Stephen Shore, Joel Meyerowitz, Walker Evans

Photojournalism and travel photography:

Magnum, Sony press awards, world press photo prize, National Geographic, Travel photographer of the year,-

Then I will create a shooting list, much like how Alec Soth goes out with a list cello-taped to the steering wheel.



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