CHLOE GOODWIN

Interview by Graciela Mochkofsky

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GM: How did you come about this project? What was your original idea and how did you develop it?

CG: At first I had no particular theme in mind, I just knew that my favorite pictures were ones with people in them. I never really set up any photos, I just shot them as I saw them and eventually noticed that I was always shooting people alone. The combination of that and the fact that I was reading One Hundred Years of Solitude towards the end of the term led to my project: solitude. I don’t think any of my final photos were shot with that in mind; it was very much a project that came together in the editing process.

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GM: What did you think of a Hundred Years of Solitude, and why do you think the idea of solitude is compelling to you?

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CG: It’s my favorite book, I’ve actually read it a couple of times. I’m not really sure why I’m interested in solitude… I guess I like the idea of everyone having a personal world. I definitely didn’t want solitude to come across as a sad thing, like it’s synonymous with loneliness.

GM: I notice there is only one picture in which the subject is looking at the camera, which seems to me to break away from the concept of the project a little bit. Do you agree? How do you feel about that picture?

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CG: That picture does break a barrier and I’m still not sure how I feel about it. I mean my definition of solitude as being in your own world allows for the 4th wall to be broken I think, but I agree that it feels a little odd.

GM: Who are the subjects of your pictures?

CG: The subjects in my pictures are mostly my friends and family, but there’s at least one of a stranger, the one of the homeless man in a sleeping bag.

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GM: Have you been inspired by the work of any other photographers worth mentioning?

CG: I definitely admire all of the photographers I learned about in this class, but I don’t know if any of them provided direct inspiration.

GM: Did you have any previous p

hotographic experience?

CG: I have very limited experience in photography and I’ve never taken a class before. Two summers ago I was a photographer for a summer camp in Israel, but that was just a favor to my friend who organized the camp.

GM: Can you tell me a little about your projects as a Harvard student? What’s your concentration?

CG: I’m studying culture and politics in the Middle East, but I’m not sure what department I am going to do that through quite yet. I really like the Arabic department in NELC, but I find that its other classes put a lot more emphasis on the ancient world than I’m looking for. I’ll probably end up doing Social Studies so I can tailor my focus field to my interests.

GM: Why did you take a photography class?

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CG: I really just took this class for fun. Plus I’ve been claiming for years that photography is one of my favorite hobbies even though I’ve never taken a class, so now I’ve legitimized that a bit. I’d like to take another one, but it probably won’t be anytime soon—I should probably figure out my concentration first.

GM: Tell me a little about your background: where are you from, what do your parents do? And what are your plans for the future?



CG: Plans for the future…I really don’t have any yet. I’d like to travel a lot in the Middle East, probably live there for a while, but I’m not sure what I’ll do after that. Maybe something in government? I don’t know. I’m from Manhattan, I’ve lived there my whole life. I have a little brother who goes to boarding school in Randolph, MA, so that’s convenient. My mother stayed at home with us and now she’s a free lance artist, and my father works in business.

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