As a photographer, my goal is to capture moments that represent a mood or theme. In this case, the theme was power. When thinking about it at first, the task seemed daunting, and as though I was not going to be able to find much to photograph. But as I ventured my neighborhood with my camera at hand, I ended up surprising myself.
In the play Antigone written by Sophocles, power is one of the most prominent themes in the text. Creon, the king of Thebes, uses it without thinking about the consequences, and in the end, loses all of his family and loved ones to poor decisions that he made. In the play, power is seen as something mostly negative, but in the world we live in today, it can be seen as either good or bad, depending on who possesses it.
Before taking my photos, I tried to map out how power could be shown through images. I could take pictures of powerful people. Of powerful businesses. Of powerful objects, such as money and documents. While actually going out and taking photos, though, I began to realize that power meant so much more than just the material ideas.
Power can be seen in nature. In neighbors. In relationships between man and animal. In rules. Power is much more than somebody or something who has rule over a community. As shown in one of my photos, I found power in the fallen tree branch. Nature had the ability to take something we view as being so strong and immense, a tree, and easily break it. Another photo taken is of two houses next to one another, one bigger, one smaller. The larger house, from the view of a passerby, gives an impression of being more “important,” compared to the smaller house next to it. The difference between these two photos is that one shows power in nature, the other in community.
This project is one I’ve really enjoyed this semester, since it let me, as well as my peers, choose whatever their strong suits were to showcase their interpretation of Antigone, and it’s a good project to let students show some creativity with.
As you really start to look at the things around you, you see what seems to have bigger influence in communities. A cat is more powerful than a mouse, and a living plant more powerful than a dead one. Think about it a little more, and you begin to wonder if something has too much power. But that, lies in the eyes of the beholder.