Photo Censorship Sexist Culturally Imperialist

Photo Censorship Sexist Culturally Imperialist

A READER WROTE

Jeremy

Hello, Andy --

I like your travel blog a lot. One detail leaves me a bit perturbed, though: the censorship of yourself from your photo journals.

I can understand wanting some anonymity, but to delete images of yourself while freely taking pictures of other people smacks of a double standard -- i.e., that your privacy matters more than theirs, or that other people can be asked to let their guard down in a way that you are unwilling to do. Although you make a point of trying to understand the world through direct contact, withdrawing yourself from the visual record of this contact risks making your whole effort come off as an elabourate form of voyeurism. Not good.

The omission/deletion of yourself in your photos has some sexist and culturally imperialist overtones, too: you feature a blonde woman on the beach (-quot-things that are important to Andy-quot-) and a cute girl from whom you are trying to get a kiss, etc., and expect them to be amenable to being photographed, presumably without asking their permission. If you do not reciprocate by letting your own guard down, then you are just a spectator, not a participant, which breaks the world down into -quot-me-quot- and -quot-them-quot- instead of -quot-we-quot-, which is, I think, quite counter to your intention.

So, I encourage you: reveal thyself!

Respectfully,

Jeremy

Photo Censorship Sexist Culturally Imperialist