Amanat – Eighth visit

After the success of that first visit, within a week Amanat had invited me back over. I had listened to the interview material and decided that some things needed to be expressed more succinctly while others needed to be clarified. We agreed to rerecord certain sections and questions, and that I would direct the questions in the way that Amanat’s responses would be more self-explanatory for audiences.

Shortly after I arrived, we began discussing photography and Amanat told me that he’s a keen photographer and wanted a few tips. Ever one to be the centre of attention, Dameli soon gatecrashed and took control of the camera!

Although some of these shots are really good, I’ll have to see which ones from this session and the previous one are more interesting, since there is a lot of interaction between Amanat and Dameli, while the other family members are absent. Nevertheless, the camera is significant since it represents not only proficiency (hand-eye coordination) but also ‘normal’ everyday activity (family snapshot, hobby) which adds so much weight to my project. I shot the frame of Amanat drinking from a mug from a low angle because Dameli had stuck a joke to the bottom (which is why they are laughing). The joke would be lost in translation, so I decided not to use it. Better are the shots where Amanat is the photographer.

We sat down for dinner with Meruert’s mother and aunt. It is interesting to notice how body language and mannerisms change when different people are present at table, although I had not noticed a difference in atmosphere whatsoever. I compared these shots with the previous ones, and although these images contain contextual information (the headscarves) I much prefer the energy of the first shots. Another example of not really understanding a situation until one has photographed it and looked at the results! You don’t really see what is happening until you see it in a photograph. That’s what Winogrand was talking about, in my opinion, when he said “I photograph to find out what the world looks like in a photograph“. Seeing something and seeing it as a photograph are totally different things, and in my opinion that’s what drove him to shoot so prolifically – he was trying to make sense of this phenomenon, since very often there is no clear correlation.

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