BY JONAS RASK
It’s a funny thing really. When I first heard the theme for the whole consumerism issue, I thought to myself that it would be one of the most hypocritical things we could do as a collective.
Why, do you ask?
Well first and foremost because 6 of us either is or was brand ambassadors for Fujifilm at some point in time. That means playing a big part in ensuring continuing growth and success for the Fujifilm corporation, which in terms actually translates directly into adding to the consumerism within the camera industry.
Obviously we tried to lighten the mood a bit by agreeing to use our oldest available digital camera. A way to show, that using the newest tech doesn’t always matter, even though we ourselves have a real knack for creating hype surrounding a new camera release.
To make matters even worse, on a personal level I’m so addicted to buying new camera stuff that I make myself sick! - I consume cameras at a rate that most people only dream about. So for me to write about consumerism is like having a certain US president write about humility and altruism.
But I thought to myself, why not just embrace it, and show the world that I am a big part of this consumerist train. I chose to take my X-Pro1 and XF35mm f/1.4 with me on vacation.
A vacation so filled with consumation, that it actually made me sick to my stomach at times.
We went on a trip starting in the fasionable West Palm Beach, followed by a 7 day cruise and ending up in South Beach Miami before heading home. I cannot think of a more point-proving vacation that that.
USA is the epitome of consumerism. We drove around in cars with 6.4L V8 engines that had 30 gallon tanks. We consumed gasoline at a pace that wasn’t even funny. At breakfast cafés we had the most grotesque sized servings of eggs and pancakes. So large that 6 children shared a 10USD order of pancakes and only ate 2/3 of it.
Shopping is conveniately and safely done inside malls. Outlet malls, center malls, childrens malls. Oh boy did my family get some shopping done!
Then the boat. - Superflous in all its appearance, environmental footprint, Phillippine labour forces, food consumation and wastegeneration. Complete with casino, bars, restaurants and buffets the size of manhattan.
What a machine! Perfectly tuned for consumerism!
Miami beach was a site to behold. One car bigger and more noisy than the next. People flashing their latest fashion accessories, pets- or plastic surgery procedures. A real theatre grotesque.
But you know what? I had a GREAT vacation. I consumed, like I usually do, and didn’t give it much thought. Just like I usually do!
Well maybe I did think about it this time - because of this project!
As it turns out I did think more and more about it. And in hindsight I made myself sick to my own stomach. Will I change things a little bit? I sure hope so. Will it be lasting change? I don’t know. Maybe I’ll evaluate at the end of next year.
But I sure hope so.