A visual journalism magazine

Vojages – Visual journeys

in Multimedia articles

THE NEW YORK TIMES – Travelers tend to go where other travelers have gone, and perhaps this is part of the reason travel photography remains in thrall to the typical. When you do visit Zurich or Cape Town or Bangkok, they are very much alike: The amusement parks have striking similarities, the cafes all play the same Brazilian music, the malls are interchangeable, kids on the school buses resemble one another and the interiors of middle-class homes conform to the same parameters.
This doesn’t mean the world is uninteresting. It only means that the world is more uniform than most photo essays acknowledge, and that a lot of travel photography relies on an easy essentialism. I like Italo Calvino’s idea of ‘continuous cities,’ as described in the novel ‘Invisible Cities.’ He suggests that there is actually just one big, continuous city that does not begin or end: ‘Only the name of the airport changes.’ What is then interesting is to find, in that continuity, the less-obvious differences of texture: the signs, the markings, the assemblages, the things hiding in plain sight in each cityscape or landscape. This is what outstanding photographers are able to do, and it is the target the rest of us chase.

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