A week ago, I had an entirely different post written for this day of Chicago’s Indian Summer. A solitary, 75-degree January day that ironically evidenced the plausibility of climate change, a day after the inauguration. But as the week turned grey, its sunny disposition did not correlate to internal greyscale. Looking back at these photos and the words associated with them, it is hard to fake warmth and brightness when I feel the opposite. It is nearly impossible to mask this perpetual state of disbelief, pain and frustration given the political climate.
Photography is an expression. An opportunity to compose and dissect and edit the world around me into an image that reflects what I see. I create pictures that are often bright and airy. I am an eternal optimist. Yet, it feels impossible to create an expression of a lie. Especially when freedom of expression is a farce. Freedom of expression is really the opportunity to express yourself in a way that feels familiar. A way that is not too different from others. A familiar dress, a familiar language, a familiar appearance.
I don’t want to create images that are untrue. Images that show the beauty of a place or a nation where the sentiment isn’t quite as beautiful. Especially a nation that lingers in internal conflict. I think I have an obligation to capture more than what is seen – and that is what is felt. In the next year, I am pushing myself to do so.