Wherever you (100) live becomes your community (10+3). If you are fortunate, you are surrounded by choices (10+4) and you are making selections (10+2) all the time. But what happens if there are too many barriers? A feeling of cultural isolation from the community can develop. Art can bridge that gap between an individual and the community.
The photographer Eliza Gregory is currently working on a portraiture project that spotlights this disconnect in The Local: holding on and letting go in Melbourne, Australia. Through her photography, she is bringing an awareness to the issue. She began to ask these two questions: “What do you let go of in order to connect with the community around you? What do you hold onto in order to feel like yourself?”
“No matter where you live, you are always making choices about how to connect with the culture that surrounds you, and how to maintain your personal identity inside that culture… What I’ve found is that, easy or hard, everyone has something interesting and important to say about this process of cultural evolution.”
Then she adds “(t)his project helps strengthen a community through art. In a diverse, fast-changing city, it is easy to become isolated in our own discrete social and professional circles. Personal and cultural isolation is especially challenging for the many immigrant and minority communities that live in Melbourne. The Local connects people who don’t normally connect.”
This awareness can start a chain reaction – more learning about each person in the community can then lead to a better understanding of what each person needs in the community!