secret garden

It began with a single photo, a b/w self-portrait with the accompanying text, “open the door, leave the room”.

Flickr supports a commenting system which appends text from individual authors, other Flickr users, to individual photographs. From these comments one can cross-reference other people’s photo archives enabling one to broaden out through countless networks, including tag threads and theme based content pools. One such thread grew from that photo, and from that thread grew a small community, from which new works were created, ideas built upon ideas generated a whole new set of photos including poems and references to inspirational texts and people. It lasted a good three months, but its influence was far reaching and affected the every day lives of these people, in ways that may never be truly known nor measured.

At the core of this community were a small group of young Turkish girls based in London. From their desire for a homeland that surrendered blue skys and seagull nights there grew stories of home sickness, lost love, heartache, dislocation and estrangement. In amongst the despair a garden grew, a secret garden of ideas where like minds and like concerns met, via a simple web page to share their losses and support each other, to express, inspire and excel themselves by way of a few simple words, “how deep can we go?”.

The network that grew there, although initially inspired by a handful of photographs, drew together a community that would otherwise have never known each other. Across time-zones some labored into the night, others into the day, sharing stories, making friends… being there in the company of strangers and yet not, when their immediate world became less tangible for a time, only to be witnessed through the eye of a lens and the beat of a poem, to be encouraged and stimulated by the arrival of a new image or a reply to an email, some only seconds apart.

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