The brain series: Gender Identity

Someone from the transgender resource group sent met a link to this episode from the The Brain Series. This is about gender identity.  For many reasons this has fascinated me, not only because, as was found out, I have gender dysphoria too, but also because Identity just fascinates me.

Every Photo is a story: the photos of Frances Benjamin Johnston

Frances Benjamin Johnston, a self portrait.

I recently got five links from the Library of Congress for the series Every Photo is a story. In this series Kristi Finefield, reference librarian in the Prints and Photographs Division, and Sam Watters, architectural and landscape historian, take a look at the photos made Frances Benjamin Johnston,  (1864–1952), one of the first female photo-journalist who rose to prominence. She was an expert at making hand-painted photographs. She was a champion of the City Beautiful Movement to restore beauty to an industrial America through garden design and was very well connected. Such beautification could thus promote a harmonious social order that would increase the quality of life.
These two go together as she had her photographer ‘improved’ to the wishes of the customers by having them painted. Even then reality sometimes needed to be improved upon.  How this worked and why this was done will be told during the series.

Watters has worked with the library of congress to examine no less that 1100 of Frances Benjamin Johnston’s photos, which she donated to the Library of Congress.
Library of Congess: Every story is a Photo:

Frances Benjamin Johnston, full-length portrait, seated in front of fireplace, 1896

Part 1: Start to Read a Photograph

Part 2: Get to Know the Photographer

Part 3: Consider How the Photos Were Made

Part 4: Interpret Stories You Discover

Part 5: Explore the Photographer’s Era


For fun, I made my own look alike picture.. It is made using second life.


More links

Frances Benjamin Johnston

Sam Watters’ book.

City Beautiful movement

Library of congress

Another story: Trinity

When talking about collages, a friend of mine asked me why I think that making a pictorial story would work because as far as he knows most imagery, a catch all phrase for pictures, photographs and other ways to display (un)reality, is often one single depiction of a single event. Like a snapshot or a painting of, say, Mona Lisa.
Perhaps he is right, but then I find it fun to work some kind of story into a depiction or playing around with imagery that is just something more that just one picture.
So here is another one that I worked upon. It is called Trinity.
Now I personally think that pictures should tell their own story.. or at least should inspire or fascinate, without needing words to explain more, as it is probably that the words will not always be connected to a picture. Perhaps I should looking into that.
This picture was inspired by the fact that in Second Life you can make a copy of yourself that looks exactly the same as another avatar, however through behavior and other ways of being they can be different and perceived and treated differently by others.