Unique photo blogs are everywhere. The problem is that in terms of execution very few construct incredible images. Even fewer are underpinned by a good idea that’s classroom ready. So that’s what makes a good photoblog a treasure. They are strangely personal. Hauntingly so. That’s where this weekend’s posts come into play. Don’t worry. You’ll see. Here are the basics.
Let’s start with The Burning House a tumblr. page that is perhaps one of the most reblogged projects out there. The idea is simple and striking. So simple in fact that you can’t believe it hasn’t been done before. The premise of the Burning House blogis to ask people what they would save from their homes in the event of the unthinkable. Hunter Forrington, the 23 year old who created this project, asks that you consider items that would reflect “practical, valuable [or] sentimental” attributes. The results are impressive. The items are all neatly arranged and range from pets to children to laptops. What you start to see unfold before you is a pattern. Quite often people regardless of age, race or geography include the same items (phones, tablets, and laptops being a favorite). It is an argument about culture in and of itself.
Along those lines, the blog Everyday Carry takes what people carry in pockets, wear around necks, wrists or stuff into bags and photographs them on any background of their choice. (Note: their hashtag: #floral print is the new woodgrain is incredibly funny). Most of these items suggest that their owners are male. Lots of dive watches, rugged leather wallets, specialized knives and pocket tools. While this doesn’t have the same aesthetic quality of the Burning House blog there is something incredibly utilitarian about the site. This is not about nostalgia it’s about necessity. As a result you have a completely different line of argumentation that appears.
Tomorrow, We’ll give you a list of ideas as to how to use these blogs in your classroom for critical thinking, discussion and writing. But here’s a window, college essays and personal narratives, writing prompts on material possessions in modern culture and/or nostalgia versus necessity and links to literature in The Things They Carried and Anne Bradstreet’s “Upon the Burning of Our House.”
Take a look at both of these blogs. But remember, be careful. You could lose hours of time looking, reading, and imagining. We’ll be back tomorrow.