I’m Picturing Change

By Ian Pramoto

Ian has visited every neighborhood in Solo to create the photography that is featured on the Solo Kota Kita mini atlases.

As I walk through every neighborhood in Solo, collecting image after image to represent the conditions in each, direct and spontaneous comments arise from the citizens.

“Mas, why are you taking photographs of our neighborhood? Will there be any new development?”

“Hey, I bet you want to give us money to build infrastructure here?”

One thing is for sure, the comments show people have high hopes for new development in the neighborhood. Yet their comments are straightforward about how there is a gap between their expectations and development.

Everybody knows development in Solo is moving fast, so it’s no wonder people have immense expectations for the future. But these expectations mean people put their hope in change that could actually lead to two different outcomes either a solution for their problems or a cause of new problems in their lives.

My camera captures the contrast between reality today and the promise of development. I photograph the poor environmental conditions and unplanned physical development in neighborhoods, which is why people comment to me about buildings and infrastructure. Society is expecting change, so maybe yes, when I come back in a few months, my camera will document that change.

The people I photograph have big expectations, but who is going to meet those expectations? I don’t not have the authority to answer, but maybe my camera can attract the attention of the agents of development? And as I pack up to leave, a different kind of comment comes toward me.

“Well, after you take your photographs, will the roads and drainage be rebuilt?”

I too have expectations about what I do along with those of the people. I hope my photographs can provide an entrance to see the social reality today so that development in the future will met the community’s expectations.

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