Saturday, January 14, 2006

Stuff: What's Your Project

I found this online today. It offers the alternative to memories of your vacations.

Project 103

The next time you go on vacation, don't bring a camera. This sounds counterintuitive but think about all the memories you have of places, times, events that actually come from photos and not actual memories. Rather than taking photos to remember your holiday, collect tidbits from your days and nights out: the coaster that sat under your beer while you watched people hurry down a Parisian street, a wooden bookmark bought from a girl hawking her wares at a Mexican market, the beautifully printed ticket stub from the Uffizi. Put these items in a box when you get home. They will help you remember your vacation in a different light than through photographs in an album.

Ada Chu
Brooklyn, NY

Taken from What's Your Project

I don't bring cameras on my vacations. I hate taking pictures on normal days, and on vacation, the easiest way to piss me off is to insist on taking my picture.

Don't tell me it's strange, it's anti-social or it's "not sporting".

And don't tell me I have no right to impose this rule on others. I don't impose this on anyone else. I'm just fine if you want to take your own picture. Go ahead. Just don't expect me to like it when you insist on me smiling and posing for your sake.

Why? When I am on holiday, I actually prefer to spend the time BEING on holiday, not trying to accumulate memories of the trip. I just find that people are often too busy posing for the pictures to actually enjoy the scenery.

In defense of photo-taking, someone once explained, "But I want to remember my holiday with you!"

My reply? "You mean you're going to forget this trip if you don't?"

But don't I want souvenir of my trips? Yes, I do keep souvenirs. But not the kind people expect. From my trip in Melbourne, I have a single white feather from the Grampians. From Hanoi, when we visited a new restaurant for almost every meal, I keep the business card for all the establishments. For Rome, a rosary from the Vatican, and a postcard sent from the Vatican postage service to myself.

These souvenirs mean more to me than any photos. Do not mistake the photos as memories. And I hate to take pictures on holidays. Please take note.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I was the only one I knew personally who didn't like taking pictures on holidays till I read your post. The photo-taking really does distract you from just _seeing_ what's right before you, doesn't it? And at some point I realised the photos I took couldn't recapture what it felt like to be there. The odd scribble in my notebook did that better. And anyway, I prefer the hazy yet piquant memory triggered off by a souvenir than the physical, merely visually accurate, 'memory' a photo constitutes. Or maybe all I've just revealed is that I'm a poor photographer ;).