Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A nomad with roots


Your photos remind me of how Taguig is your hometown. It shows in the way you observe and photograph life while riding jeepneys, trains, and buses. Your eyes are trained from years of long commutes to and from Taguig.

Unlike you, I can't actually name my hometown. Where I was born is different from where I spent my early childhood. Which is different from where I went to grade school or went to high school or went to college. Which is different from where I studied and worked later on. It's different still from where we live now.

Lacking a specific hometown used to bother me before, but I've come to realize that my family, friends, and experiences are what made each of these places my hometown, at least for a little while. I don't feel unrooted; I just feel that I have roots in various places. Certainly, I still care about these places, wanting to return to them again and know them better. Being a type of nomad has probably influenced how I see and react to the world. I pick up quickly on people marginalizing those different from themselves and treating others poorly. I also have little patience for narrow, provincial attitudes, or when small-mindedness clouds people's beliefs about religion, ethnicity, nationality, sexuality, and gender. Does this translate into my photography? Building upon my experiences, I think it's the process of making images (and learning from the images themselves) that challenges me to go beyond myself and still dig my roots deeper.

Through photography, I keep searching for that sense of being at home, of finding my hometowns, both outside of myself and within.


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