The Ancient Path « MK Simqu Foltz

Ancient Paths

<- Parallel Cultures

In the ancient lands of the Middle East, very old cultural realities are woven together organically, sometimes subtly and compellingly, but sometimes in ways that are clearly frayed or stretched thin. The first thing the viewer may want to discern is where I stand on this or that issue. Which side is she on?

Cultures collide, even (and perhaps above all) in ancient lands. But meta-narratives about human conflict may not be of much help here, nor do I have any to offer. I merely wanted to go to these very old places as a visitor. Not as a tourist, nor a political commentator. But to visit these places. To visit with them, hear their words, hear the words of the land itself. Hear how images turn themselves into text.

Why photograph from a bus window? While buses serve the less affluent in Western countries, in ancient lands, they are often the primary, everyday option, while in the countryside camels remain the egalitarian mode of transport. By traveling in these ways, I wanted to choose the native mode of transportation. And perhaps approach native ways of seeing, as well, not only for myself, but for others who also might wish to see for themselves.

• All photographs are archival-pigmented prints.

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