Jocelyn Allen versus CCTV

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Closed circuit television is George Orwell’s nightmare of Big Brother. It utilizes both our technological advancements and inept ability to maintain privacy; all seemingly for the sake of mankind’s betterment. Jocelyn Allen, a British photographer, delightfully toys with the idea of privacy in her series entitled “Hunting for Bees.” Allen, knowledgeable of the basic functions of CCTV, creates an interesting metaphor with her photographs. Wrapped in gauze material to represent the netting for capturing bees, Allen aims to give back privacy to her subjects. The backgrounds of these photos are largely typical and unassuming; illustrating youths in playful environments or day-to-day infrastructure activities of construction and rebuilding. Thematically the notion of rebuilding a private self is evident in her pictures too. By depicting everyday people in normal situations with the gauze over their faces, Allen asserts how fundamental privacy is to any given ordinary existence. With the gauze on, her photos only attempt to rebuild that image.

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By Sarah MacDonald

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