Monday, June 28, 2010

Fear, Discomfort, Pain, Bewilderment

I was recently questioned on the title of this blogg and if I meant to suggest I was fearless. I don't mean to suggest I'm fearless. I hate roller coasters, I have life insurance. When I am out late, I run faster when I see someone coming at me from a distance.  What surprises me is how many people tell me that I should be afraid, as if fear should be the backdrop to my life, that I should nurture it like a weak child in need of extra rations.  I don't think it's new to the post-9-11 world that we live in. Fear in some ways is adaptive. If no one feared disease there might be no vaccines.  On the other hand if we didn't fear communists or Muslims, or the end of oil, what would the world look like?

Vaccines seems like a good idea. The fear that leads to racial violence in the aftermath of disasters like Katrina, fear that paralyzed rescue efforts of people trapped in the Superdome, that kind of fear, seems maladaptive and destructive.

This photography project is intended to explore my relationship to the places I'm told to be afraid of and the fear that is projected onto me by the world that I live in. Despite the fear, and variations on discomfort that I do admittedly feel,  I choose to navigate the community alone, and explore even places where others counsel fear and avoidance. I reject that avoidance and accept a certain amount of risk, although the major risk so far seems to be simply being a bit out of place and subject to questioning by residents of these neighborhoods. Most recently, I was asked if I worked for google maps.

I am open to a new title, but please don't propose "under an uncomfortable sky. " It's just flatter than out of key karaoke. I need some jazz in the band or at least some suggestion of poetry even if it smacks of impossibility.

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