“A nation’s culture resides in the hearts and in the soul of its people.” – Mahatma Gandhi
But all too often, these complex cultures – and their art, beliefs, language, landscape, and ways of life – are reduced to nothing more than stereotypes. The idea behind Cultured Shock is simple: to contrast how people see their own culture versus how the outside world sees it.
The first photo in each set illustrates how the individual sees his or her own culture: beautiful, vibrant, and rich in history and tradition. The second photo in each set illustrates how the outside world sees their culture: tainted, stereotyped, and stripped of its true identity.
The stereotypes for each culture – hateful words seen in the media and heard in everyday conversation – were compiled by the models. I wrote them on a long white canvas in red ink to illustrate how each culture is stripped of its beauty and purity and tainted by these words.
Here’s to challenging how we view culture and each other.