“The greatest wisdom that exists is knowing oneself”.
Have you ever thought about how you are? Who are you? If you are where you want to be?
Normally we don’t usually reflect on how we are, what makes us happy or brightens our days, unless something breaks our stability.
In education, in the media or in everyday life we don’t usually talk about self-knowledge. Almost everything that is taught belongs to the outside world. However, self-knowledge is an indispensable condition to look inside ourselves and be better people. If we don’t know who we are, how are we going to recognize our purpose or why do we do things?
The answers to questions like what do I do in life or who am I, go through an internal, gradual and calm reflection and not so much for the external information. And this is where the paradox appears. Although photography allows the outward gaze, it can be the tool that facilitates access to the inner world.
Through the images of your own body, the space you ocuppy in the family, the analysis of your own photographic work and photographic expression, you can gently reveal these key questions as in a game.
Photography speaks about aspirations and challenges, of a way of looking at life: it defines individuality.
Contemplating photographs we realize that we are contemplating ourselves. And that’s the key: to realize.
How can we use photography to get to know ourselves?
In multiple ways, as many as potential have the look and expression. I tell you some of them:
- When we take photographs, our images work on the look and the creation itself. We choose what we see and what not, what is within our frame ad what is outside, where we focus.
- We make many decissions when we decide to show an image, place, space, shape, type of camera, editing, selection, printing,… and these are the decissions that define us. The analysis of the work will allow us to discover those blind spaces that we have never looked at.
- Through the photographic projection we can be aware that image offers a lot of personal information; because image, like poetry, allows the intellect to be disarmed and the unconscious and emotion to be rescued. It allows a “realization” of who, where and how I am. Just ask. To contemplate an image is to contemplate ourselves.
Look the picture. Ask to it. Are you?
Self-portrait Claude Cahun
- Images are the history of our bodies, our lives, our hobbies, experiences and projects. In this way, the self-portrait will capture my costums, emotions and my autenticity. The self-portrait can also be divided and build body itineraries, spaces of secrets and fears to be looked at head on. As the psychoanalyst Jean-Michel Ribettes says “Each self-portrait becomes the portrait of the one who observes it”.
Photograph of a private collection family album
- The family album allows us to work on identity and belonging. Who am I and where do I come from, who are my ancestors and how do I feel about them, what space do I occupy in my family-social system and which one do I want to occupy. How do I become who I am. Investigating our family means unveiling our own biography. Revealing THEM is revealing US.
- There are great artists who have worked on ways of knowing oneself through the image. Not only from a therapeutic process, but from a personal enrichment process, Jo Spence knew it well. This is where it make sense to start a personal, own, authentic project that really talks about me.
Why use photography as a tool for self-knowledge?
✻ To know that photography can be an important tool for self-discovery in all stages of life.
✻ To reflect and start a photography project about one’s own identity.
✻ To find the meaning of your own creativity.
✻ To take a revealing journey about insecurities and fears, but algo memories and the best o f oneself.
✻ To learn to be and focus a purpose.
I hope you continue to investigate about photography and self-knowledge. We don’t stop doing it, it’s our project. So I invite you to know the following training: