Picturing Freedom: What is it?

Last month, Lomography asked us to picture Freedom. What exactly is freedom? I could say traveling (well, it's a big part of it), but I guess for me there's a little bit more than that.

At the time of this article’s writing, there were, like, 3 more days to the end of July, and for that month, the Lomography staff asked us to write about Freedom. To capture freedom on film and show it. I couldn’t just not do it, not when they ask to write about the most amazing feeling of all.

Freedom is different from person to person.

For Nina Simone, for example, this was what being free means:

For me to be free is a lot of things. Mostly traveling because it’s were you can really feel it: you can go anywhere you want and since you are a stranger and nothing is expected of you. So, I tried to summarize it in 5 things because five is a great round number but ended up with 7, and by the way, seven is also a magical number so…

1. Traveling: the greatest

For me (and tonantzin who wrote this great article on this subject) traveling is one of the things that makes you free. It’s the understanding that even if the world is finite there are ways you can move through it and go wherever you want to go.

I did an Interrail last Summer (and am still writing an article about that!) which is to travel around Europe by train with a pass from this company. Now, whenever I see railways that always reminds me of traveling and so…of being free. Not that I didn’t know before that trains could travel anywhere (even if I was born in a island with no train stations), but having had the experience of an Interrail journey and crossing so many cities in one month you really get to look at rails and trains and think “if I wanted this could get me anywhere.”

The first photo are railways in Lisbon, Portugal. The second are in Gorizia, Italy. The last two photographs are in Auschwitz — make no mistake, these two do not represent freedom: they represent the hope of it, but are the end of it.

Also, this jeep and the feeling inside it, to believe that I can go with it wherever I want (even if wherever I want has to be inside the island it is in, because jeeps don’t do really that well inside of water).

2. Have to do it? Do it your way.

To travel is amazing, I guess we already cleared that out.

But even when you are living in one city (and working there) like I am most of the time (for now, at least), there are ways to try to escape that boring home-work-home routine (work can be replaced by school or study or college if you need) and really make time for yourself, either by taking a different route to your destination and discovering new places or go to a park and read that book you need to read for school. There are so many ways you can do the exact same thing but in alternative ways. What’s more free than doing something the way you feel like doing it?

The boy on the first picture wasn’t begging, he needed to practice for class so was doing it on the streets of Venice. The others are places I saw while walking on places outside of my daily routine.

3. Ride a bike

Really, trust me. A lot of people wish they could fly, because birds look so free… I can’t give you the formula to do that without some kind of plane or helicopter or parasailing equipment… But if you have a bike, riding it gets pretty close.

4. Read a book.

The most wonderful way to live in places that don’t even exist. (like Hogwarts.) To live in places that don’t exist. Yes, I did wrote that one right. I guess the power of imagination is well linked to freedom, don’t you think?

5. Save someone.

I know this is not for everyone. It is not a “required” thing. But even if just talked with someone who is really sad or knowing that something I did made someone better… it feels like you can do so much more. Having just finished med school, I do hope this happens for a lot of reasons. One reason is to feel that inside of me, there is the knowledge to be free and not just be another book of rules and guidelines on a shelf.

The two pictures are of my college and a bunch of writing in stones that people from all around offer to the doctor represented by the statue in front of the college. They are mostly thank you stones for the work he did and the people he somehow healed or saved.

Some of them are thanking for miracles they asked (and they also light candles) for a loved one getting through a severe illness, even not directly to the doctor in the statue since he no longer lives.

6. Do something stupid or just silly (with friends).

Friends are those few persons you can be yourself around — really all the crazy and stupid parts of you — they get it. They just understand your craziness because most of the time they are equally that good kind of crazy as well. So if you have friends like that, go do something with them that all of you wouldn’t normally do by yourself. Because sometimes, just being yourself is the biggest freedom of all.

Do something crazy like, taking a bike ride at dark with no lights in a small village you don’t know, or just make stupid faces in photographs (always with my mouth open!), or take photos in a not very stable boat, standing up to get a better view, even if you get less balance — thankfully no cameras went swimming that day.

7. Take photographs

Especially when traveling but also in the routine live, photographs for me are ways to keep my memories alive. To capture a fraction of a second in time and make it mine. To live it again whenever I want to. Show a piece of my time to someone else.

It’s a bit like time traveling: and isn’t time traveling the ultimate freedom?

Like Nina Simone said in the video there’s really no way to fully explain what it is like to be free. I just hope one way or another some day in your life, you will feel it. Have you felt it already?

written by anamachado on 2013-08-05 in #lifestyle #railway #read #bike #routine #nina-simone #interail #photograph #freedom #book #live #travel #free

More Interesting Articles

  • Then and Now: 'Album Covers By Kids'

    written by chooolss on 2014-06-12 in #lifestyle
    Then and Now: 'Album Covers By Kids'

    "Album Covers by Kids" is, well, exactly what it says on the tin. Curious? Have a look after the jump!

    1
  • Solo Biking Routes: Exploring Jezersko and the Greenest Lake You'll Ever See

    written by lomofrue on 2014-07-23 in #world #locations
    Solo Biking Routes: Exploring Jezersko and the Greenest Lake You'll Ever See

    My bike is my best friend. It's not the best one you'll ever see but I love it anyway. It takes me to work and back, and it also takes me exploring new places. What more could I possibly want?

  • Chemical Manipulations with the Lomo’Instant

    written by tomas_bates on 2015-01-21 in #gear #tipster
    Chemical Manipulations with the Lomo’Instant

    Perhaps you’ve already had chance to try light painting, multiple exposures and long exposures with your Lomo’Instant, but what can you experiment with next? Well, that’s exactly the thought I had which led to giving this Tipster a go. I wanted to shoot Lomo’Instant photos which felt a bit “messier” than what I’m usually used to and to use a technique which would open up new possibilities with the kinds of images I could create with my favorite instant camera. Well, here I go!

    2
  • Shop News

    Show Off your Pics with Style!

    Show Off your Pics with Style!

    Build vivid hanging LomoCurtains, robust free-standing LomoCastles, and dazzling mounted LomoMosaics! Just click them together with the Lomography Photoclips!

  • Most Popular Photos of April 2014

    written by icequeenubia on 2014-05-10 in #news
    Most Popular Photos of April 2014

    Around 75,000 lomographs were uploaded last month. I know it's quite a big number but let us take this moment to appreciate the best ones that captured the community's analogue loving hearts!

    5
  • The Lomo’Instant Splitzer: the Must-Have Slice and Dice Accessory!

    written by bgaluppo on 2015-03-06 in #gear #lifestyle
    The Lomo’Instant Splitzer: the Must-Have Slice and Dice Accessory!

    What exactly do I feel while waiting for my Lomo'Instant photos to be developed? I have to say I get a mix of "Surprise me, dear Lomo!" but also some "Did I capture it as I wanted?" kind of thought. No matter the school of thought, with the Splitzer you can add so many cool effects to your photos you'll definitely embrace it!

  • Chasing Summer Smiles with the Horizon Perfekt

    written by cheeo on 2014-06-20 in #reviews
    Chasing Summer Smiles with the Horizon Perfekt

    Chronicling my summer’s last hurrah with the Horizon Perfekt was more than what I could have imagined. Not only did I get cool remarks about its look and sweeping lens mechanism, I also took home panoramic shots that just swept my summer escapades with analogue goodness.

  • Shop News

    Try the LomoLAB Development Service!

    Try the LomoLAB Development Service!

    Whatever kind of film development you're after, you'll find it here! Now you can confidently shoot from the hip without having to worry where to develop those film rolls!

  • What Tech Websites Are Saying About the Lomo'Instant Camera

    written by chooolss on 2014-05-29 in #news
    What Tech Websites Are Saying About the Lomo'Instant Camera

    It's only been a couple of days since Lomography launched its first dedicated instant camera via Kickstarter, but it seems to have already caused quite a stir not only here in the community but in other websites as well. See what the press is saying about the new Lomo'Instant camera in this first of two parts of our press recaps!

  • The Magic Yet To Come: Part 5

    written by Lomography on 2014-09-06 in #news
    The Magic Yet To Come: Part 5

    Last week, I received the strangest thing through my letterbox. It was a postcard with this photograph on 1 side. The photo is of me sitting by the sea whilst I was on vacation last year. But I have literally no idea who took this shot – That’s why I came here, to ask for your help on my search for my mysterious photographer and to try and get to bottom of the riddle they wrote me. Please help me if you can!

    10
  • Dave Tomkins Pays Tribute to His Grandfather via 'Grandpa's Photos'

    written by chooolss on 2014-07-23 in #lifestyle
    Dave Tomkins Pays Tribute to His Grandfather via 'Grandpa's Photos'

    "Grandpa's Photos" is exactly what it says on the title - vintage photographs taken by an Australian man named Stephen Clarke who frequently went on trips around the world. But make no mistake in concluding that it's simply a showcase; Clarke's grandson, Dave Tomkins, has also taken it upon himself to honor his late grandfather as a talented photographer. In this interview, Tomkins introduces him to us and shares the idea behind his personal project.

  • Shop News

    Last Day: Free Camera Deal

    Last Day: Free Camera Deal

    Last day of the free camera deal today! Grab films now worth 99 EUR/USD/GBP and get your free Diana Mini or Diana F+ Love Letters for free!

  • My Analogue Bucket List: Faster Than a Speeding Cannonball

    written by bloomchen on 2015-01-22 in #lifestyle
    My Analogue Bucket List: Faster Than a Speeding Cannonball

    The new year is still young, but it seems as if it'll be over quickly. My organizer is already filled with entries until June. 2015 will probably be worse than 2014 when it comes to having time off so I could take some analogue shots. Anyway, there are some photography-related things that I really want to get done. It is probably best to set some goals if I only have very limited time.

  • Agfa Precisa CT 35mm: The Blues!

    written by adi_totp on 2014-08-12 in #reviews
    Agfa Precisa CT 35mm: The Blues!

    I don't care if this film has been reviewed a zillion times, that it has already been discontinued, or that there might be a Japanese version of it. The Agfa CT Precisa that I know gives me the blues. Oh, yes - not a Chelsea FC fan, but this film is all about the color blue. Say hello to the blues!

    7
  • Pushing Boundaries: So I Heard You Like Multiple Exposures

    written by Amber Valentine on 2015-04-11 in #world #tipster
    Pushing Boundaries: So I Heard You Like Multiple Exposures

    My name is Amber Valentine and I have a confession to make: I’m not really a photographer. I have a website full of photographs, a bookshelf full of cameras, film waiting to be developed, and a wall full of framed pictures I’ve taken. Even so, I don’t really consider myself a photographer per se. I think that Lomography is more about the experimentation and the fun of film than it is about the photography, and that experimentation is part of the reason I have embraced Lomography so.

    1