Finding Comfort in the Abandoned


I’ve often wondered… What makes the cellphone such an attractive device to tell stories? Beyond the obvious reasons, I wasn’t able to arrive at a satisfactory conclusion. And so, I decided to look at myself. Some of my favourite photographs are of the mundane, devoid of any human presence. On the rare occasion where I have included some form of life, it has been that of a horse or a stray. Their presence has always comforted me, and I have found reassurance in their ability of unconditional love. Otherwise, my visuals come from dilapidated structures and castaways. It is strange how I continue to be drawn to an old rusted bicycle, lodged against an abandoned wall, located close to where I live. It’s even stranger that I don’t quite know why I continue to visit it, like an old friend. But during each of these encounters, my phone has always been with me, and I’d make sure to record a snippet of its life, as if it were its last day. As I continued to look at the photographs, I discovered what I was running away from; the chaos that I had once loved and come to enjoy, had now turned into a deafening noise. It was slowly taking away bits and pieces of me. That’s when I discovered the answer. The cellphone is my personal diary. I have found solace in it, in the act of documenting the various snippets of my silent encounters. My cellphone does not judge who I am. It lets me be who I need to be with myself and gives me the freedom of choosing who I am with others. It allows me to escape when I need to. Could this be the reason why the cellphone has become such a personal device… Because it protects all of my identities, and allows me to switch and slip in between? This, to me, is the best quality of the cellphone; one that I hope continues to prevail above the addictive, deceptive and meaningless imagery that threatens to take over.

Tags: better photography, cellphone photography, Conchita Fernandes, Edit note, November 2016, opinion, Perspective