Evangelical Photographers

In my role as Photography Lecturer, I get to take a large group of students (along with my colleagues) to Barcelona each year. We got back yesterday from our 2013 jaunt, tired but happy. The trip is intended to extend their knowledge and of understanding photography, art, design and culture whilst also providing some new life experiences. I can't speak for the students but I was having plenty of thoughts about life in the twenty first century and the change I've witnessed in the relatively short time I've been around. One of the strangest experiences was at la Sagrada Família which I imagine is one of the biggest tourist attractions in the world. The whole proposition is bizarre before you even visit: an avant garde architect designs a place of worship so elaborate and complex that it is still a building site 130 years after it was started, due to be completed around 2026. I think I avoided it the first few times I went to Barcelona as it seems so obscenely touristy, however it truly did take my breath away the first time I visited on last years trip. Actually the thing that intrigued me most was the reaction of the tourist to the space, and that's what these pictures are a response to. Photography has become a massive part of our culture, a language, a way to validate and share an experience. Just about everyone has a device with them at all times now that can record visual information. It was fascinating to watch people making pictures in this space, it seemed like a frenzied experience; gathering, recording, documenting, saving. I'm not sure how many people were looking, experiencing the beauty first hand, rather than through a viewfinder or digital screen. This isn't a criticism, just an observation of what we all do now everywhere, it is just more noticeable on such an intense scale. The act of photographing seems to have become more athletic, more physical. People were throwing really interesting shapes and taking up quite sculptural positions, sometimes unintentionally mimicking positions associated with acts of worship, appropriately given the location.
















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