I always tell people that I want to be a war photographer, but in order for me to have something to photograph, there should be a war. Of course, I will never wish to have a war for the sake of fulfilling my photography goals. Fuck wars.
I teach International Relations, and part of my usual course design is to introduce my students to different schools of thought in the discipline, such as realism, liberalism, and constructivism. As a disclaimer, I would always disclose my inclination towards realism because of my research interest in Security Studies. In a nutshell, here’s realism:
Yes, war is inevitable in the eyes of realism, because the world is made that way and human nature is wired that way. My desire to try to find questions as to how to mitigate this inevitable nature of a conflict-prone world reflects so much on my photography niche. Street photography is a photography genre that’s closest to reality, and I want to give the world a visual picture about the real stuff happening on wherever corner of this planet I end up in.
Given the current happenings in the world, particularly the Russian invasion of Ukraine, I can’t help but be obsessed about researching on whether world peace is achievable. Or, at the very least, how can the horrible effect of armed conflict could be mitigated.
I’ve been wanting to visit more of Eastern Europe, especially the former Soviet States. I have visited the Baltics (Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania) and I can’t help but desire to see more and learn more about Soviet Russia. But first, I hope the conflict in Ukraine and everywhere else in the world will not affect many innocent lives.