Was invited to give at talk to a group of foto-enthusiasts this week. I
talked about USER and LIVE THROUGH THIS and briefly touched upon
my new project, OFFICIAL OTTAWA.
Part way through my presentation a fella raised his hand and told me
that I was supposed to be talking about fotografy, not politics; that this
was the wrong forum to talk about issues and points of view.
Perhaps he was right, maybe a suburban camera club is not the proper
venue for that kind of talk. Could be that I’m blinded by my passions,
lacking in empathy (or, maybe, understanding) for what people want to
But in my world, on Planet Tony, there is no separation of politics, and
point of view, from how I make and take fotos and from how I look at
them. I understand that many folks couldn’t give a goddamn about that
kind of stuff when they pick up their cameras, that they just want to take
pretty fotos of their kids or pets or their night out or the way that that
light is striking that surface.
Fine, I accept that, just like I accept the weather or anything else you can’t
change. But for me, separating politics (of the personal variety) and a point
of view (outside the practice of regurgitated-foto-clichés) from fotografy,
just isn’t where it’s at.
Sign, Parliament Hill. (from OFFICIAL OTTAWA)
The same dude also wondered if I was a victim of The Stockholm Syndrome,
because I was being sympathetic towards the addicts I photograph. (And, as
an aside, the fella was a retired policeman.)
Thinking about it (and I do think about the feedback I get) it occurred to me
that The Stockholm Syndrome is only applied to people becoming sympathetic
to their captors, who are always the bad guys.
But I wonder if we all suffer from The Stockholm Syndrome. That we become
contributing, conforming, sympathetic members of the society we belong to
because that society, its mores and protocols and the demands it places on
us, is really just our captor.
STRAYLIGHT now has a mailing list. Talk about organized!
If you sign up you will get advance notice about upcoming publications.
The reason you might want that is because the Special Editions sell out
very quickly, often in less than a day, so you’ll be in with a fighting chance
to pick one of those up.
If you subscribe we won’t ever sell your name and we’ll probably only send
out 7 or 8 things a year, so you won’t be inundated with stupid non-news.
Sign up below.
STRAYLIGHT also just joined Twitter. The first 50 folks to follow all had a
chance to win a copy of L.A. PHOTOGRAPHS. Then, when we got to 100
followers, all those names were put in a hat and the winner got a copy of
SAME OLD STORY.
The plan is to wait, now, until we have 200 followers. All those names will
be in the running to win a copy of From the Study on Post Pubescent Man-
hood, by Stacy Kranitz. That book, sold out, is destined to become a classic.
I happened to find one long-lost copy in a drawer.
So follow us on Twitter, here XXXX, for a 1 in 200 chance to win that book.
Page spread: From the Study on Post Pubescent Manhood, by Stacy Kranitz