Taking accountability for our mistakes.

Something I have noticed recently is that many people are afraid or are too ignorant to take accountability for their mistakes. This realisation has come about after I went to a intersectional feminism/ activism panel as well as seeing lots of controversy about “cancel culture” which is very prominent on the Internet. Cancel culture is when a celebrity/someone in The public eye, says something that is often racist, homophobic, transphobic, misogynistic or offensive in other ways, in the past, which leads to them being “cancelled”. My opinion on this culture differentiates depending on the example, if the person has apologized prior to their accusation, I can often forgive them and depending on the severity and don’t see why they should receive hate for something they said the past when they have taken accountability for it. However, if they do not apologise until afterwards, it can often be seen that they are just trying to uphold their image and aren’t sincerely apologetic. I believe that not one person has gone through life without saying something problematic. It appears to be what makes us human is making mistakes, but the issue lies when person refuses to admit their mistakes, apologise, and move on whilst actively changing their problematic behaviours. No-one has an unproblematic past, purely due to ignorance.

I feel like some of you are probably reading this thinking, “why isn’t this a blog about photography?” or maybe not, I can’t read your mind, but I am getting to the photography part!

Admitting mistakes is an imperative trait for everyone, even creatives and I don’t just mean admitting problematic mistakes. When I created my project beach in film, I fully acknowledged that it was a complete fluke that I created the images in that certain aesthetic. Yet when I told people this I was instantly shut down, being told that I cant say that because its not “professional”. I can’t understand why admitting that something was a mistake (and clarifying that it was in fact a happy mistake) could be deemed unprofessional. Surely lots of people experiment with something new, make mistakes and unconventional products, but enjoy them nonetheless, but why can we as creators not admit this? Doing a photography degree has made me realise that we cannot admit that something just so happened to turn out the way we wanted, yet it was an accident because if we do it will be seen as wrong or seen as we haven’t put enough thought into something and everything needs redoing. However, if the creator is happy with something then how can it be wrong? The answer is; it can’t be. One thing I have stood by in my 5 or more years of creating is, create things for yourself, not the judgement of other. Yes there may be certain criteria we need to meet for profit purposes- we do need to be able to pay bills- but ultimately if you create something unconventional, that others don’t appreciate, but you’re happy with then share it. On the flip side, if you create something conventional that you’re not happy with, don’t feel pressured to share it with the world. Create your own image.

This blog was a wild ride but I thought I would try something different and engaging.

Thank you for reading

-Alex

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