If you follow me on facebook or flickr, you may have read that I´m in the process of building a portfolio. This is a project that I´m doing in school, and one part of this assignment was that we had to create ten new photographs for our portfolio. We had three weeks total to create new pictures, and to put together a good enough portfolio. That means two weeks for photographing, and one week for printing and building the portfolio.
This was a real challenge for me, as I usually create pictures that demand much more work than this. I do not wish to change my way of working, because my work would not be as good as it is if I didn´t put as much time and effort in it as I do. But it was fun to see that I could create in a faster way, when I decided to do so.
What I did was that I decided to create pictures that would work as a series together with this one. I didn´t think it would be a series when I first created "Conspiracy", but the more I thought about the meaning of this picture, the more I felt like doing more pictures like this.
I started to think about freedom. I thought about our free will and our dreams. Is it possible for us to live as free individuals in a world where dreams are advertised as goods to by? How do we know that the dream we have is actually our own, and not anything we want just because we have learned to want it?
How can we be sure that what we choose is based on our inner desires, our own will, and not based upon the ideals and norms that our society teaches us? Nowadays we praise the free will, and we are constantly reminded that our happiness as individuals lays in our own hands. You alone are responsible for your own happiness. If you´re feeling bad, you are likely to get the advice to change your way of thinking. There are tons of books out there that will teach you just the perfect way of living to receive your goal to be happy.
I am actually a big fan of positive thinking, and I don´t mean that there is anything wrong with this. What I want to focus on is how free we are in ourselves. Maybe sometimes, there is a reason to be unhappy. Maybe sometimes, the society should change. There are people in this world who commit suicide because they can´t find one single reason to stay in this world. I find this to be one of the most tragic things that can happen to a human being. Maybe this is the price that we pay for our modern civilization? There are so many demands on how to live, how to look and how to feel, that everyone of us feels from time to time that we can´t live up to it. Who has decided what we should do with our lives, and what should be considered as a meaningful life?
I want to do this project to start a process of thinking about freedom and responsibility. If we think that we can only create happiness for ourselves, what kind of world will that turn into? We think that it is so important to be free, and to be able to make our own free choices when it comes to what mobile phone we want, what kind of work we want to do, which hospital we want to belong to, where we want to live when we are old and can´t take care of ourselves anymore. But do these choices make us free? Sometimes I feel like all the choices can make us trapped. You are responsible for your entire life. If you don´t live up to the standards of society, you may get medication for your unhappiness, or you may be considered as a "failure".
What does freedom mean in a world like this?