Congratulations to strangelilgirl, one of the Make Your Prophecy Competition finalists! Read on to see her winning artwork and find out why she chose to represent the prophecy she did...
Name: Sarah Cunningham
Country: United States
Why did you choose the prophecy you chose? What does this prophecy mean to you?
I chose the 5th prophecy, “Film & paper ensure originality, authenticity and eternity,” because it struck me as being the most candid of them all. While all of the prophecies portray a branch of Lomo philosophy, it’s this one that gets right down to the heart of the matter. Why are we looking for paradise, for real life beauty, for the things we missed the first time around and for a break from the digital grind? It’s about a search for the things in this world that are real, inimitable, and that ground us back into our own existence. It’s about holding something tangible. This dichotomy of real vs. fake, of digital vs. film, exists in many forms right now, not just in the world of photography, so this prophecy has much room to extend into speaking on other subjects, too. There is nothing inherently wrong with digital, with online versions of things, or with instant gratification; in fact, the technologies of today can be used in many ways to enhance our lives, and even our Lomography community. But there is something magnificent to be gained from patience, from things you can touch and smell and flip through, and from the use of your own hands and body to create something that will last an eternity simply because of the authenticity of you, person x, creating it with labor and love; that it what this prophecy tells me.
Why did you choose to represent it as you did?
Being interested in writing at least as much as I am in photography, I knew I wanted my interpretation to have something to do with words. This prophecy says that paper will ensure the foreverness of things, and so I wanted to combine 2 of my loves into one eternal, original, handmade chapbook. But that’s just the format. I wanted to dig deeper into not only this prophecy, but the 10 Golden Rules of Lomography, by interpreting each of them into 10 corresponding poems, with this prophecy as the overriding theme. In some cases, I took direct pieces of language from the site. Most of the time, I looked at photos and read about the Golden Rules and just let my mind wander over what all of that means, what it may look like in the form of text. I wanted to build little analogue processes with each poem, tending toward a more experimental aesthetic. And of course, I put everything together in a book that you can hold in your hands, with some analogue photos on the front and back covers and about halfway through the book. The finishing touch was me stitching by hand the individual chapbooks together once they were printed.
What do you think would be a good 11th Prophecy?
“Lomography is a return to the tree house.” Remember when you were little and you could climb trees in order to escape your city? When getting dirty could be beautiful and even necessary? When pillows and blankets had the ability to become fortresses and castles? Lomography is about recreating and returning to that world, the outside, imaginative world. Some kids today don’t even like to get dirty. There is such a thing as Nature Deficit Disorder. The break between the physical world and the places where we spend our days cooped up and cut off from real life people is one that needs to be fixed. Lomography is about closing that gap, about playing outside, even in the rain. About sitting down on the asphalt or in the garden just to get the right perspective on a shot. About playing with our pets. About realizing that we can still harness our ability to imagine, no matter what age we are. Lomography is ageless.
More from Sarah: Excerpts from my “Make Your Prophecy” project