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leamirella's picture

Growing up, I was always a performer. Throughout elementary school, I acted in plays and danced ballet. My career aspirations at this point were limited to anything that allowed me to be on stage, spotlight trained on me as I shared my talent with an audience. You might say that in my younger years, I was somewhat of an exhibitionist - I gained personal gratification from being watched. In fact, the larger the audience, the better. Many performances were documented on cameras and were both still and moving images. They're still at home, gathering dust. As I grew older though, this love for performance started to fade. Maybe it was because I was tired of it or maybe it was because I had reached adolescence and had turned into the angsty teenager that refused to listen to my superiors. I dropped my acting and didn't take dance as seriously as I had before. But what stayed the same was the love of being photographed and having my life documented and archived for a purpose that I am still not aware of. There are hundreds and maybe even thousands of photographs and videos from my junior school years of my friends and I, fooling around and reveling in the new found freedom that comes with being slightly older and able to go to the movies or shop without our parents.

And then I reached high school and entered a media studies program. It was then I realized the beauty of being the one behind the camera, setting up shots and directing the people standing in front of me. It was an art, it still is.  For a moment, I forgot my love for acting and positioned myself as a director. I took pleasure in being the one who chose what the audience saw. Writing scripts and directing films became another way for me to display my creativity. But in my junior year, everything came full circle again when I got back in front of the camera. I realized then that regardless of whether or not I was in front of the camera, it was still an important part of who I was. In fact, I seriously considered the prospect going to film school but after much deliberation, I chose a more academic path. The camera allowed me to document what was going on in my life and now, when I look at old photos, I realize how far I have come in terms of intelligence, maturity and artistic ability whether in relation my dancing from my younger years or in relation to the first few movies that I produced. It was so easy to document everything yet despite this ease, the memories will always be there. (Unless, god forbid, my apartment burns down.)

Although I sing praises for camera, be them video recorders or just plain photograph takers, I realize that there are many constraints. Because the view of the camera is limited, it is never possible to document an entire event. There will be something that is missed on camera, something important that is just outside the frame. Additionally, the camera can only record sound and image and thus only stimulate those two senses. You can't smell or touch or taste whatever is in a photograph or video. So to say that cameras allow you to capture all of your experiences is a false statement. Though I can see myself in videos, I cannot experience it as fully I did all those years ago.

There are other pieces of technology that have coloured my development such as the computer, the cell phone and even the newer technologies such as Facebook and Twitter. Having a strong interest in technology and more specifically, the way that technology has changed the world in which we live, I have tried out many different types and am more than willing to expand my knowledge of others that I am not currently aware of yet. 


I got a little carried away with this I think. Sorry.

Oh and I forgot the most important part. My name is Mirella and I'm a freshman from Hong Kong. I thought that I'd be majoring in sociology with a concentration in gender and sexuality studies but I'm looking to major in English instead. Because I like to read and write. A lot. (In case my super long introduction doesn't hint towards that.)



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