Yes it may seem like an odd statement to make. Not to mention a pretty odd title for an article. But be that as it me, it is in fact true. I could start of waxing metaphorical in trying to explain what I mean but I shall leave that off for now. Let me begin with, I am a woman. What does that mean in today’s society is for everyone to decide for themselves. I am not a feminist. In fact I am very well aware of just how much power a woman can wield if only we would look past the limitations put on us by, oh well, just about everything. Be it society, or norm or so called gender roles. I personally don’t see it. We wanted equality didn’t we? So start acting like it, I say! Stand your ground and do not even let the consideration of gender get in the way of your goals and achievements. There are countless very powerful, influential women and they did not become like that by being meek and crying for sympathy votes and handouts from “the man”.
Now that the sermon is over, I think we should get a little more personal. I am a writer. No really, I am. And I have been told I am not a half bad one at that. Most times though, I write because I can. Because its easier than talking for me. I honestly do make much more sense when I write.
What I do is that I take pictures. That explains the second part of the title, does it not? I am a photographer. No I am quite sure you have not heard of me…yet. Let me clarify further, I am as yet a student. Sure I have some professional, free-lance work to my credit but nothing of actual note. And for now, I am quite okay with that. See, I may not be the most technologically knowledgeable person around but I love cameras and I love how they feel in my hands. It’s probably as natural to me as lighting a Camel light with my rainbow colored Zippo. My cameras are an extension of my arm, my eyes, my very being. Its an expensive “hobby”, sure, what with all the equipment and its peripherals. But perhaps that in itself shows when one is willing to invest so much, then they must at least be partially serious about what they do?
And that is another thing that annoys me. How people that live very straight, 9-to-5 lives can so easily stick a label of “hobby” to someone else’ life’s work. Just because it may not fit convention, even more breed in themselves. To make it worse for me, the situation is further aggravated by my petite frame and that I happen to look about 5 years younger than I really am. Which as a 21 year old I find quite debilitating. But as I mentioned, I don’t go about chucking blame on every other socio-political topic for this problem.
I guess the need to write and to photograph both stem from a core need to record. Ask any writer or photographer or filmmaker. They do what they do because in some part of them they want to immortalize something. A moment, a time, a memory. We all share a base fear of forgetting. As they say, there is always a personal element in every writer’s work, even if it is “fiction”. Why is that? Simply because we write what we know and we do it to remember. A lot of people will never admit that fact. I on the other hand relish it. To the point where my I want to use my pen and paper, my cameras, photographs and films, to not just save experiences for my own benefit but to share with everyone else too. What is more frustrating than trying to explain a place to someone, the way it looks, the colours the architecture but not be able to get through?
So yes, I am a woman and I am a camera. But it is more than just a surface statement. I am a woman that handles cameras, who is, in herself a camera constantly recording and saving what she sees. I am the record keeper. I am a writer. I am painfully feminine but headstrong enough to make my way through. So lets be honest now? I am actually every woman. That’s right! You reading this right now. You are a camera. You are a pen and a paper, a running reel, a record. You are a monologue, a blog, a travelogue, a journal, a documentary, a history. See we all have sight. Even blind people have sight. We are treasure troves of memories and images and smells.
So I say, be a woman, or a man. Really go ahead and BE it, as you see it to be so. Tongue twisting statement, I know. Reread it, it will make more sense. Be a record of your life, of your world and bear witness. For what else are we all here for?