The world and the people in it, how we all perceive our humanity and existence, and how we choose to seek peace and understanding fascinate me. This is something I believe that humanity as a whole should be more accepting, inviting, and curious about. I seek to start an intellectual, and hopefully, more enlightened conversation on these topics through my photography. I chose the topic of documenting world religions found in Austin.
My project will focus on three main goals:
1. To document and celebrate the beautiful culture of world religions and faiths found in Austin
2. To combat and challenge conditioned responses to foreign practices and lifestyles. To break barriers.
3. To illicit a response, and start a dialogue about the personal impacts and relations of these incredibly beautiful cultures/faiths at the local level.
In this series, I have covered three religious institutions found in Austin, Texas. Theravada Buddhism, Islam, Sikhism, and Judaism. Their histories, their communities, their traditions, and their culture are all deeply rooted in faith, and molded by the city culture. Displayed are their people, their relics, and their places of worship- highlighting the profound workings of their religion, and how, even as far from their roots as they are, individuals are still able to seek peace and understanding in the center of the Capital of Texas. Not only did I want to humanize these cultures, I wanted to bring attention to them at the local level so that the Austin community can see how much they affect and how much they are affected by these cultures. I find it important to note that these are only three religious insitutions out of the hundreds found in the city. Though they do represent their respective traditions, they do not represent the whole of the religion, or the entirety of all believers from around the world. The way each of these instiutions perform is largely influenced- by the culture of the city, though as one will see, they are still deeply rooted in their origin.