Lens-Artists Challenge #159 – Postcards
“I’m just hoping we can keep the spirit of the humble postcard in mind while looking at people, places and things.”Martin Parr
This week Ana has offered us a very interesting opportunity with her Postcards challenge. As I thought about my response, I remembered a set of old postcards I’d seen during a visit to Southeast Asia. Because so much of what we’d seen felt like time had been standing still, I chose to edit my images as I thought postcards might have looked long ago.
“The world before us is a postcard, and I imagine the words we are writing on it.”Mary Pearson
Here in the U.S. we think of history in terms of hundreds of years while in Asia it is thought of in centuries. Seeing images of people and places there takes one back to times long before the appearance iPhones, digital cameras and the other modern-day technologies we use to capture scenes of local life. The simple postcard wouldn’t have been so simple at all “back in the day”!
“Postcards chosen according to a passing mood begin to trace an itinerary, to map the imaginary country that stretches out before us.”Chris Marker
I suppose there are many in our blogging community too young to remember a time when postcards were an important way to stay in touch with family and friends. We’d visit small shops displaying a myriad of cards, choosing just the right scenes for those at home. We’d purchase them for a few cents, add stamps for a few more, and mail them off knowing they’d arrive in a week at best, often after we’d already returned from our journeys!
“Why do you have to be out of town to write a postcard?”Jim Gaffigan
I was fascinated by a world filled with people and places I’d only read about in books or studied in history classes. It is an amazing thing to experience how dramatically our perspectives change when we take the time to understand other cultures. We learn quickly that our similarities far outweigh our differences.
“If you put two postcards in the same post box, they don’t necessarily come out in the same order you put them in.”Vint Cerf
I’ll close with an image of Angkor Wat, an iconic site discovered in 1860 in the jungles of Cambodia that would surely have been featured in postcards of the past. Built in the early 12th century, It has since become a source of national pride, even finding a place of prominence on the Cambodian flag. Most recently, new technology has shown it was part of a large urban landscape with a sophisticated network of canals and dams controlling the flow of water.
“Your memory creates postcard images, but it doesn’t really comprehend the world at all.”Olga Tokarczuk
Many thanks to Ana for her thoughtful challenge – be sure to link your response to her beautiful original post and to use the Lens-Artists tag to appear in our Reader section. We appreciate all of our Guest Hosts stepping in for us this month, as well as those of you who have participated along the way. We hope you’ll join us next week when we return to our normal schedule, beginning with Patti on her Pilotfish blog. Her challenge will be Your Inspiration – she’ll ask you to share with us a place, a subject, a person, a book – just about anything that inspires you. Until then, as always, please stay safe and be kind.