Who comprises The Family of Man today?
More specifically, how may I leverage archetypal images in the 1955 Family of Man exhibit into a visual composition of archetypes today representing our new world?
I am exploring this in the context of our written academic requirements. For the second term now under way, we are required to produce a 2,500-word paper using primary research. This is in addition to our Rethink photography project. We have been given the option of either carving out our own piece of a collective class themed research project or taking on an individualized focus.
I will go it alone to explore the archetypes of The Family of Man exhibit for my paper, since I may focus on this concept for my final photography project requirement for graduation. Therefore, by taking a close look at these issues I can better visualize my Rethink project of the same topic and how it may evolve after.
Since, this paper requires primary research, I would like to speak with multidisciplinary experts to gather their opinions about American and European society’s changes over the years; 1955 versus and until now. These opinions may help me to better understand archetypes in the original Family of Man exhibit and how they have evolved to present day within my own geographic frame of reference.
What would a cultural anthropologist see as the principal changes over the last 58 years through archetypes? How would a sociologist, psychologist, gender and sexual studies expert, cultural and ethnic studies expert, historian, educator, medical doctor, artist, businessperson, politician, or photojournalist see it?
I want to hear what first comes to mind for each person interviewed such as with free association feedback. In other words, I want to hear your philosophic pondering, along with your off-the-cuff insights as an expert. I will provide iconic archetypal images from the original Family of Man exhibit for reflection.
I will not be drawing hard academic conclusions. I will capture the essence of my topic to focus it as a creative endeavour. Art’s subjective nature leaves us all to formulate our own responses to the questions and emotions it conjures. So, even though this study will be injected with expert opinion, the conclusions that I draw will be my own biased, imperfect but personal take to achieve an artistic and photojournalistic vision. Also, realistically speaking, my analysis will translate into a composition, limited geographically and focused to a set of parameters, also defined by what I have access to shoot and to what I will be able to reproduce without copyright restrictions.
My initial take of the supreme difference of then and now is that we have grown into a global community. As mentioned before, The Family of Man was produced in 1955. We now live with porous cultural and economic borders.
I also see changes in the family structure, marriage, the voice and activism of youth, racial diversity across all aspects of society, and more active and visible participation of persons with disability in the workforce and in society at large.
I am at the early stages of defining my academic and photographic projects. I will take this global idea and narrow it to a workable plan. So for both the photography and written piece, I will continue to sharpen my focus of and within archetypes to compartmentalize.
Ultimately, I hope to capture archetypes in an abstract or symbolic way, as well as, intermingling these with tangible images.
The number of archetypes that I finally explore photographically depends on how it goes for the first set that I would like to consider as a test run focusing on one archetype. The first attempt will help me find to my method of approach, possible subjects for shoots, and maybe some documentary archival photography to integrate.
What I do next is strongly influenced by the coaching that I will receive during tutorials, so I do not know how it will evolve. If I choose to expand this assignment for my final project for consideration of graduation, following Rethink, I would then go into more depth.
I am looking for multidisciplinary experts who would be available for an interview and who would not mind being taped. I may want to use parts of the interview for voice overlay to the photography piece.