New Urban Disconnect

"Expose the banalities of the new urban landscape" - George Georgiou

This is the nineteenth Instruction for the Street Photography Now Project, written to inspire fresh ways of looking at and documenting the world we all live in.

This challenge was later expanded on the Flickr group thread by George Georgiou:

"Hello all, this is George Georgiou. The quote is not quite how I put it, I wouldn't have used the word Banal. What I am interested in is what the relationship is between a modern planned urban/suburban space and the individual. In other words, planned public space where people can feel comfortable or familiar with but allows people to move through this space without contact, we almost become invisible to each other. Often these are made to a blueprint, airports, housing estates, bus stations, shopping malls etc. If you watch people in these spaces you notice a disconnect, people in their own worlds/minds. It is this disconnect from what is around you that I find interesting. A simple example is how people talk on the mobile, as if they are at home, in private. Eggleston and Shore are good examples of this. What they look at is very 'commonplace'. The urban environment and peoples interaction with it. I hope that helps. George"

I feel that the above image ties in closer to what George said on the forum. The woman is completely lost in thought whilst typing a text. Her expression is fixed and stern, her walk was brisk. The other face in the image adds to the 'disconnection', the woman is oblivious to the man looking at her (and he is oblivious to me).

My 'B-side' this week focused on the banal. I always find that a stringent deadpan approach to photographing is ideal for capturing 'banality'. I love the word banal, and banality is verbalised best in Chris Marker's Sans Soleil (1983)... See the scene here!


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