Photo Wallahs

“Photo Wallahs” (1991) is a movie produced by David and Judith MacDougall. It is set in a northern Indian tourist hill station, Mussoorie and the main aspect of the film is to explore the world of photography. “Wallahs” literally means the person in charge, so a Photo Wallah is a professional photographer. The producers were interested in filming contemporary uses of photography in India and in the movie they compare the variety of work, attitude and way of thinking of the photographers of Mussoorie. The film presents them and their various interests on the subject, such as dressing up the tourists with fancy, traditional Hindu costumes and taking their photos. The photographers explain that when their customers wear an outfit to take their photos, they feel as if they were a completely different person.

The overall impact “Photo Wallahs” had on me was that I realized that a photograph could hide a story. Seeing a photograph after a long time can make one feel sad, happy, nostalgic and many more. I find extremely interesting the way the people of Mussorie treat photography generally and I understood that body language plays a crucial role. I am inclined to believe that the movie communicated almost all of its meanings in a very successful way, which led me to inner searches and thoughts. I asked a friend of mine from India about his opinion on the topic. His reply was: “Indian culture features a lot of different forms of art and expression. Lots of painting, designs, architecture, music, even festivals have themes of art. I really don’t know whether it has taken root or is common or thriving as an art form in India…. but as a country and a culture, we have too many amazing subjects for photos. It’s probably the true paradise of a photographer.” When speaking to him I admired the passion in his words and I suppose that is the Photo Wallahs (local photographers) emotions.

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Even though this blog is mostly concerned with filming, there are undoubtedly common characteristics between photography and filming. The most basic one question that could apply to both is: How much of the reality being captured in the lens is actually real? And then there is a basic difference which leads to the question: Does astill photo tells less that a moving photo(video)? These two aspects could be explored by researching ethnographic photographs and video and critically identify similarities, differences and impacts to the audience.

My Camera.

Camera. A tool that freezes time. My colourful camera stands for my positive attitude towards life. Can a photo or film represent the actual reality and truth? The endless debate. If you look closely at my camera you can see the other side through the threads, but blurry. The message I am trying to pass here is that a photo can capture part of the reality, but never the whole. Photographs can be seen as a way of processing the world!24804697966_5bfd1156c4_o.jpg

Editing Notes 1

The editing part has begun. So far so good. Even though at first I was thinking that it must be really hard to learn a program I have never used in the past from scratch, it was not that difficult following the instructions of my teacher. I started by cutting and separating the interviews in the three questions (Do you identify a Greek person in the street, How do you identify a Greek person in the street, What does it mean to be Greek?). Then I searched for soundtracks I could use for the footage. I wanted to include music that will make non-Greek people think of Greece instantly. This was a really hard process, since by being Greek, I could not possible have an objective opinion. As a result I consulted my non-Greek friends and reached to a decision. Lastly, I edited the parts from the park and the night-out, which were the most time-consuming, and then watched them while listening to the tracks I picked.

In the past I have edited and created videos and at first I thought it would be really easy to do so and that it would not take much of my time. As I am moving on, though, I realize the struggles and how critical an anthropologist has to be when creating a visual ethnography.

From Greece to Canterbury!

My two favourites places in the whole world. Greece and Canterbury.

Greece is the country I was born and grew up, the place I will always love. It deeply hurts me to watch my country suffer from various problems that have a common starting point: the economic crisis. However, I want to have a positive stance and thinking towards the depressing situation. Most important of all, even if I am far away now, I will always want to go back to my sunny happy place!

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Canterbury. A place I fell in love with, since the first time I visited when I was 5 years old. It is a majestic, picturesque town that despite its small size, there are so many different and wonderful places to explore. When the sun comes out, everything seems brighter and even more beautiful. When I came here to study, it was a dream coming true for me.

 

 

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In Canterbury, since my first year I met many people and their own unique cultures and my way of thinking is now completely changed. It an amazing opportunity to encounter with so many different people carrying their own backgrounds and actually getting to know the world better. We all did it and still do it, and that is a small study of humans. A small introduction to Social Anthropology, the study of humans. On the other hand, Canterbury has a large number of Greek people and this is where I met the friends, I call now my family in Canterbury. This is another reason why this place is so special to me.

I can go on and on talking about these two places for hours.. The reasons I love them so much are never-ending. The basic reasons already mentioned, are the ones that led me to explore Greece in Canterbury.