Year: 2021

Firsthand Accounts

“Firsthand Accounts” is a photo series that portrays stories of ordinary people from all walks of life. This project offers a voice to the voiceless — unique individuals seeking to share lessons from their life experiences. In turn, these lessons, or “accounts” will serve as “firsthand” evidence to bridge a connection with a wider audience. All personal anecdotes documented in this series were organically collected through chance encounters in downtown Austin, Texas.

A Merry Trencherman

The story, “A Merry Trencherman,” aims to explore a widely held idea about overweight people, which is that they are jolly and carefree, and they know how to enjoy life. Toward the end of the short story, the narrator learns that his obese friend is far from merry, far from happy, even far from contented with his lot. The narrator discovers his friend is deeply dissatisfied with his life because of his condition. It should be obvious to people that obesity cannot march hand in hand with true happiness, yet the stereotype of the merry trencherman endures among many.

Swamp Kikimora

How are we increasingly impacted by our own echo chambers in the modern world? Your cozy swamp. Your own world, where everything is according to your rules. Only your principles, values, and interests. Only you are always right, and you are the measure of vice and virtue. Information that isn’t annoying. Events that don’t throw you off balance. Peace of mind and no worries. And the less the wind of change penetrates from outside, the calmer the water in this swamp, the stranger its inhabitants….

The Tea Vendor

Fairy tales have always been about the human condition. What we fear, what we hold onto, what we repress. And the house, as with the cottage where “The Tea Vendor” is set, is always an allegory for the body and the soul — in this case, lonely, snowbound, with a grave beside the porch and a wealth of secrets just out of sight.

Reconciliation

How are gendered patterns of behavior ingrained within human beings? Do certain societies seem to praise and prioritize a particular gender above the other(s)? How does viewing the world through a gendered lens determine our values? According to this visual artist, if the human race has hope for rectifying its wrongs, it must prioritize its lost feminine side.

I Don’t Need Anyone

“This is an excerpt from my writings during a particularly tough time in my life. It was a period that made me realize the thin line between sanity and insanity. Each small decision during this time decided the kind of person I have become today.” — Ayushi Jain