Daily Archives: 18/08/2010

Likely to be alike

I am not like those; I’ve got my own ideas and I’m not afraid to show it. I refuse to look like I belong to this pedestrian society.

And then you choose a certain type of look with which you identify ourself and which, in your mind, reflect your thoughts and sets you apart from those whom you criticize. But you are not the only one.

About a year ago, I was browsing publications in a bookstore and I came across a photography book that immediately caught my eye. Its pictures and they way they were organized had an impact much larger than 20 PhD theses on urban anthropology: Exactitudes was its name.

For 14 years, Dutch duo Ari Versluis and Ellie Uyttenbroek have worked investigating dress codes of different social groups found in the streets of the Netherlands.

As the curator of the Hague’s Museum of Photography once put it:

The apparent contradiction between individuality and uniformity is, however, taken to such extremes in their arresting objective-looking photographic viewpoint and stylistic analysis that the artistic aspect clearly dominates the purely documentary element.

People like me and so many others strive so much for personal identity we forget we are always parts of groups, no matter how small and exclusive they are.

Instead of putting so much effort into being unlike others, it is perhaps best to accommodate to the idea that although it doesn’t take more than one person to make a statement, it reaches many others when said in a group.

It can be enjoyable to be different but it is much more fun to be alike.

Other interesting people, of course.