The title of this project is “horse riding is a sport”. The societal issue I want to explore through my photographs is my identity since many people mock the sport or think that it is horse abuse, but through my photographs, I want to show people that it is not easy or abuse.
I think because of my vision, most of the photographers I will be inspired by are showjumping photographers and photographers like Sophie Calle. One of the ways I could express my vision is by capturing the emotion on the people’s faces during competitions, like Jooney Woodward or Sara Sheir. Jooney Woodward’s project captured their seriousness and Sara Sheir was very effective at capturing their joy and their connection with the horses. Another way to express it is through their objects, which is why portraits without people could also be something I do since we can tell a lot about a person from their objects and when it comes to taking care of horses, there are multiple steps you have to take and it involves many objects. Another idea is doing animal photography, showing that horses are complex creatures and that it is something that is not easy.
The societal issue that I would focus on is that people are too quick to judge a sport like horse riding. That because it involves an animal, people immediately think that it is easy, the horse is doing all the work or even that horse riding is not an actual sport. This would be the societal issue that I focus on, although it is not big, I think that this is something that many riders have to experience when they tell people that they are riders. This has happened to me multiple times at school, both by teachers and students and it saddens me to say that this is something most riders struggle with. And so, I would tackle it by showing how we look during riding and why it looks effortless, then transfer to how serious we take the sport and maybe even fall from a horse, I think that another way I could highlight it is showing how high the jumps are at a professional level since they are much higher than people think.
I finished A Long Way Gone during the break, I think that one of the potential topics I could talk about is the fact that Ishamel shares his personal story to show that war affects everyone. And that war can corrupt people, for example when he was in the army, he was exposed to so many things like death, drugs, and smoking as a teenager. I think that this a potential topic could be what Ishmael is trying to express through his book. Another potential topic would be the comparison of his experience to another, it could be a person that experienced the effects of the same war as him, or someone different like Salva Dut and his book A Long Walk To Water (which I can reread).
Another book that I could write on would be One Child: The Story of China’s Most Radical Experiment and I could talk about the theme of the book and what and how the author expresses her opinion about the theme through the statistics and personal anecdotes she shares.
A third option would be the analysis of how COVID has affected the news being put out by the media since this is a very significant event of the past year.
My last option would be to reread Circe and talk about how the author uses the story of Circe to express her feelings about the stereotypes of women and the unfair beauty standards, and how society can sometimes look down on people who are different.
Some other books that I can read or finish reading are I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous and You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me.
I want my identity project to be around the topic of horses and horse riding, the basis of my issue would be the misconceptions of what horse riding is. Since many people think that horse riding is such an easy sport and does not involve anything hard. My three sets would be one around Sara Shier, one around Sophie Calle, and one on Carol J. Walker. With Sara Sheir, I want to capture the connections and emotions that riders have with their horses as well as during competitions. With Sophie Calle, I want to show people the amount of work that goes into getting a horse tacked and ready, and finally, with Carol J. Walker, I want to show the nature of horses, and tell people about the fact that horses are beautiful but are also sometimes unpredictable which makes horse riding more challenging, as well as the fact that because of the emotional connection riders have with them, when horses get injured or leave, we feel for them.