A middle aged man, un-comfortably dressed, sits on the street’s edge, one hand balancing an iPad, the focus of his concentration, the other presents a rugged Burger King cup to be ignored by passing shoppers. Two tens chime twenty cents softly from the cup. It is 3 o’clock and sweltering. ‘Viva la Republica’ is scrawled on the wall opposite. An Englishman, sweating and lost, makes his way home and begins to type
Ive flown south for summer.
Having put in a regretfully pitiful performance throughout my two years of Spanish classes while at school, and ultimately failing my exam (to nobody’s surprise), I plan to stay in Spain until I can speak Spanish – at which point I will probably grab my camera and leave. I have not moved abroad into an alien culture for any desire to ‘find myself’, indeed the concept of doing so I regard as an almost Rawlsian idiocy of reason. If anything the opposite is true, which it ever more seems to me is a norm in modern society.
That is not to say I have learnt nothing in the past two months. Present tense verbs, animals and “donde esta la bibliotica “ aside, I am continually surprised by the warmth and attachment that others show me, having always considered myself a bore, unsocial and irritating. Maybe I have been wrong all these years, or maybe language is just too much of a barrier.
I am looking for my next photography project. I have a few ideas, as I write this I have ten rolls of Kodak Portra 400 at the lab, but whether any of these ideas have potential I am unsure. I have made the jump to colour, which is a challenge but I have been told that Murcia does not make sense in Black and White. This I can understand, Manchester was only available to me in Black and White. I think about Black and White a lot, and occasionally lapse into a roll of Tri-X or Fomopan. Its too hard to deny the wisdom of old sayings. I usually regret this choice of film, and spend days seeing photos in colour that are now unavailable to me. It’s a minefield dressed up as a mindset.
“I have this disease late at night sometimes, involving alcohol and the telephone. I get drunk, and I drive my wife away with a breath like mustard gas and roses” – Kurt Vonnegut.
..and its so often late at night, involving alcohol.
I plan to sit on my photos from Murcia until I have a finished project. That makes the 4th project that I currently have unfinished, unpublished on my hard drive. It is quite liberating not to feel pressure to share immediately, but at the same time, I appear to be making no progress.
The new project will likely involve banality, copious consumption, and perhaps a twist of the Lynchian. To whatever avail I am still trying to incorporate politics into my photos – not necessarily in the simple Political event journalism way. From the tame political events I have photographed in Murcia I have watched the local ‘photojournalists’ at work; DSLRs, narrow focal length, posed photos, on the edge of the crowd. For now I’ll leave them to share their ten photo variations between themselves.
I don’t know where this is going, I don’t know if I will fly north for winter. At risk of a Sandymount meander I think I’ll stop