Sunday, November 6, 2011

Multiculturalism, Photographs and Creativity #cmc11

What is Multiculturalism:  or cultural pluralism, a term describing the coexistence of many cultures in a locality, without any one culture dominating the region. By making the broadest range of human differences acceptable to the largest number of people, multiculturalism seeks to overcome racism, sexism, and other forms of discrimination.

In contemporary society, different understandings of multiculturalism have resulted in two different and seemingly inconsistent strategies:
  • The first focuses on interaction and communication between different cultures. Interactions of cultures provide opportunities for the cultural differences to communicate and interact to create multiculturalism.
  • The second centers on diversity and cultural uniqueness. Cultural isolation can protect the uniqueness of the local culture of a nation or area and also contribute to global cultural diversity. The concept of “Cultural exception” proposed by France in the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) negotiations in 1993 was an example of a measure aimed at protecting local cultures.
(retrieved from
1. Of, relating to, or including several cultures.
2. Of or relating to a social or educational theory that encourages interest in many cultures within a society rather than in only a mainstream culture.

The question in my mind was how does my proposed project relate to does culture reveal itself in amateur or vernacular photographs? It may be helpful to explain how I got into collecting amateur and vintage photographs in the first place.   Several years ago..almost five! I became very interested in learning about digital art and the use of Photoshop.  At that point, when I learned that elements can be extracted from scanned images I started to collect old photographs, slides, and negatives, buying them by the hundreds, for a very low price, from ebay and other online sites.  Eventually, due to my interest in the history of the area I live in I started to collect photos of places like Yellowstone, the Grand Tetons and photos of homesteads, ranches and other sites in the area. 

Initially I was not interested in the people in the picture, but interested in cars, houses, and things like bridges and landmarks.  Over time though my focus has shifted to an interest in the people…there are thousand of photos each with a story, a theme, and people holding to their cultures, their traditions and that which defined them a heritage passed on generation after generation.   As always I encourage your input, comments and observations on the photos I provide.

I am going to provide you with some pictures all of which seem to focus on summer.   Summer work, summer fun and summer friends and family:

One of my favorite all time pictures …it evokes fun, camaraderie…what is the story on this barren stretch of highway?

A lot of great detail and interesting things in this picture.  Makes you wonder what is being pointed at, why the one person declined to sit up for his photo.  I was also interested in the people walking along the fence in the back.  Just a lovely day at the beach.

I really like this photo, especially because these two women did not seem to be all that pleased with having their photo taken or being in a row boat on a lake!

“Inner tubing” is the hallmark for fun if you live along a river or a creek!
And is fun for all ages!

Of course I don’t know if the below double exposure was deliberate or mistake ..but I think it’s fabulous!

Another great family tradition..are they getting ready for church? A wedding an outing of some sort.  A sunny family on a sunny summer’s day!


I am guessing this picture was taken on a summer’s day and I am wondering what is in the bottle? Is it her first bottle of root beer? Probably!   What would be better on a summer’s day?
In this particular picture I love the sun glasses and the crispness of the summer dresses.  They just seem so comfortable. There is a slight contrast between the two women..I think the woman on the right might be fun!

This picture, below, makes me smile in so many ways. I think it may have been taken in Deadwood South Dakota.  It is sometimes easy to tell this if the photos are marked or taken from a certain batch of photos.


I have a variety of photos from other countries illustrating tradition, traditional dress, and cultural traits:

I love the face that this photo captured:



Summer Migrant workers in California:

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