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Photography and other

Florent asks an interesting question, from a feminist/race perspective:

So street photographers are white men because… who gets to linger in the streets without getting harrassed, attacked or shot by men/police? Florent Verschelde

Which got me thinking about photography (and any art, I guess) and otherness. I suggested it’s also to do with white, male photographers somehow… what’s the word I’m looking for? Understanding? Creating? Appropriating? Controlling? Whatever the word, doing something to something that’s not a part of their everyday experience.

The act of creating an image of a mileu or experience removes you from it – even if you photograph/paint/write about something you know. From this angle, photography isn’t about getting to know a subject; rather, it’s about representing it in a certain way.

Whether this distance is good or bad depends on lots of things. In some cases it could be an act of overcoming your own experience, in others political expedience. Most of the time it’s about presenting something soft, understandable and palatable – through advertising, for example.