Aveneu Park, Starling, Australia

HUMANS start a conversation with anyone. For

HUMANS OF “EL VALLE”

As I said at the beginning of the class, I always have been a very shy
person. Therefore, I always avoid being around people. I am not the kind of
person who would start a conversation with anyone. For that reason, any type of
assignment that has to do with interacting with new people makes me feel anxious.
 My biggest fear from this project is
that I always have problems interacting with new people. The simple fact of
thinking that I must approach an unknown person gives me anxiety, for example,
asking for some information when I needed an address when I needed something in
the store. So, you can already imagine the great challenge that this assignment
was for me.

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In a similar manner, during this project I had to face different
challenges, such as interacting with new people, having to go out alone and having
to figure out what kind of people I was interested in photographing. I think
the biggest challenge was finding the people that I found interesting and then
approaching them. Some days I was out at the streets without taking a single
photo. I could never have imagined that taking only 5 photos would take me so
much time. Like me, many people are not social, and they did not let me
photograph them. I understand them perfectly.

I never imagined how interesting it could be to go out on the streets to
look for people. It is interesting to be aware of the different behaviors that
people assume on the streets, from those who can demonstrate arrogance,
superiority, other kinds of exhibitionism, even those who can express their
affection and confidence when interacting with another person. When I started
with this project, I knew that I was looking for a specific type of person,
something that I found interesting, but I still had no idea what kind of people
I was looking for. So, I decided to go to different places, such as the mall,
downtown, and different neighborhoods in the city. I went out to the streets
with the purpose of observing people’s behaviors and interactions. While I was
doing the assignment, I realized that we live near the border, so there must be
a significant number of Hispanics living in the city. Then, I start thinking on
the new migration laws and I thought it will be interesting to interview
Hispanic persons for this assignment. I wanted to know what are their thoughts
and what they think they can do to make a difference in the city.

One of my biggest concerns about meeting new people is not knowing what
to say to them, or having an uncomfortable conversation. So, I prepared myself
with conversation topics that I could use with them to not make them feel
uncomfortable with my presence. I made a list of topics that I thought they
could become interested in and then I started talking about myself. In between
the conversation, I started to tell them a little about this assignment. I
wanted them to know about the assignment so, they could feel comfortable when I
asked them to be part of my project. In fact, I use two methods. The first one was
to ask the people directly if I could take a picture of them for a project that
I was working on and the second was to first have a conversation and say it
between the talks, little by little. The second one was the best option. I
think people are kinder when they feel confident. I am not using to interact
with people, so I apply the contact hypothesis, I try to spend a little time
together with the new people I was meeting to avid prejudice.

Let’s face it, many times others judge us without knowing us, and
sometimes we are the ones who do it with others. Human beings have the
incredible ability to pre-judge everything that crosses our path. Without
noticing we judge almost everything from a meal, services, people, attitudes,
reactions … etc. While working on this project I could see that in fact
without realizing it, I was in the situation that without knowing someone I had
already imagined lots of things, good or bad of those people. The truth is that
appearances usually cheat, and we realize later, that we were wrong. One of my
goals in this project was that the persons felt comfortable at all time. I
didn’t want to invade their personal space. I always put a distance that
provide not only safety, but also where they could have felt confident. I was
dealing with strangers and I understand that the personal space is different
from person to person, varying from culture to culture. I found it particularly
fascinating how one’s culture influences the behavior of the individual. It is
interesting to learn this kind of concept because you must imagine what kind of
person you would be if you were born in a different part of the world. I use my
contact hypothesis by talking with people from different culture. I am new in
my neighborhood and I used to judge my neighbors because they are white people
and they always have gatherings in their house. So, I decided to assist to one
of their gathering. I thought white people where bored. At first it was
frustrating, but after knowing them I reduce my prejudice.

Honestly, this was the hardest assignment during the
semester, but it was a worth learning experience. Having to go out at the
streets and ask random persons if I could take photographs of themselves was a
tough challenge for me. Personally, I do not think it is normal that a person
goes walk down the street taking pictures of people without even knowing them.
However, I enjoy it too much never imagine that I could learn so much with this
assignment

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Hi!
I'm Simon!

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