You cannot possibly take your camera to prison

I am reading the new book by Norwegian author Vigdis Hjort, ‘Thirty days in Sandefjord’, inspired by the thirty-day sentence for drunk driving the author served in Sandefjord prison.

There is a lot to take in, a lot to think about in this book. About social class, education and drug use in this country, that, and so much more as well. I’m keeping it at a distance, treating it as an intellectual exercise, since it would be too difficult to take it all in. I’m too naïve. Too sheltered in my own world of academia, cameras and fancy olive oils. I could never do anything illegal, right? But of course I could, like everyone else.

I expect there is a lot I would have to face about myself if I had to serve time in jail. But right now the only thought that makes my belly tighten in imagined fear is, what would I do without my camera – for 21 days, for a month, longer?

I am chronicling my life one image a day for the thirteenth month in a row. Pointing my camera – or phone – at something has become an intergral part of my day.

Some might claim that it would do me good, to get out of the habit of distancing myself from the world and hide behind the lens. To those hypothetical people I say, I don’t hide, I see more, and better now that I have been shooting so much, and I hope to expand that vision also to the unfamiliar, the foreign parts of the world around me.

Analogue time

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About Jenny Graver

Living in Oslo, Norway, with her partner and their infant son, Jenny struggles for balance between all the things that makes life worth living - her family, her job in university administration, her writing, learning and her photography. View all posts by Jenny Graver

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