The 1000wordsprojekt was initiated as the support concept behind an essay writing project I started in 2017. The idea started simply: If a picture says a thousand words, then what might those thousand words be?
In 1936, Henry Luce proposed a new "show-book of the world," Life Magazine. In his original proposal to the publishers at Time, Inc., he offered the magazine's purpose as a means to address man's need"...to see life; to see the world; to eyewitness great events; to watch the faces of the poor and the gestures of the proud; to see strange things...to see man's work...to see things thousands of miles away..." He proposed using the exciting medium of photography to "instruct" the public and allow them, through this new kind of publication, to "see and be shown" the wonders of the world. I believe wholeheartedly that the photographs curated for Life in its subsequent years were published to document and share very precise truths about the world.
Today, photographs have become a hallmark of how people around the world communicate. Luce's vision of transforming human experience through the sharing of photos has been taken to the proverbial "11," with nearly every man, woman, and child across the globe now holding the power to endlessly chronicle and share the imagery of life from the palms of their hands.
Every day, we are bombarded with images filtered, transformed, highlighted, low lighted, reflected, colored, uncolored, etc.. Society's teenagers are less and less satisfied with their lives because of the stories they believe are being told by the photos they ingest via social media. The 1000wordsprojekt exists to turn this dynamic back in on itself, to explore the implied stories behind the photos that seem to say one thing but that very well might be saying another. The world truths that Luce's vision sought to illuminate are no longer truths, but instead are carefully constructed and promoted fictions.
This project unapologetically and enthusiastically takes advantage of those intentional (or non-intentional) fictions to construct a variety of backstories based on what might be. There is no intention to uncover the "real reality" of the photos used throughout this project — it's not intended to be journalistic in any true sense of the word. Rather, it is intended to exploit the gap between what the story could be and what it really is. Only the photographers themselves can know the truth.
Photographs shown here have been voluntarily tagged by the photographers themselves, using the hashtag #1000wordsprojekt, with no guarantee that they would be selected for an essay.