chicago photo project


The goal for this project is to explore the question ‘Who is in Control?’ which aims to depict aspects of our everyday lives that have control over us, some of which we don’t even realize. Whether these activities are necessary to our well-being or not, they still consume time that could possibly be put to better use. This series of images is meant to illustrate the control that different objects and situations have in our daily routine. 

“There’s an art to life’s distractions.” 
-Hozier, Someone New


“Three Days in Chicago” (2016) Farah’s Film Stills

“Three Days in Chicago” (2016) Film Still #1

The flight was too long. My parents were happy to see me. In the hotel, my parents listened to the TV and showed each other videos of funny animals on Facebook as I helped my brother with his essay on Of Mice and Men. The city doesn’t feel like a stranger. It holds me while I sleep, promising it will give me a tomorrow. I can feel the old in the city, saying there’s nothing here you haven’t already wanted and taken from your hometown. This feels less like traveling and more like discovering a new wrinkle on my palm. 

“Three Days in Chicago” (2016) Film Still #2

We were in traffic for quite a while. Traffic is the same everywhere. Authentic gyros aren’t the same everywhere, butChicago didn’t disappoint. There’s is a halal Indo-Pak Chinese restaurant here that my parents decided they wanted to go to twice despite everything else the city has to offer. That’s the thing about home, it follows you like the memory of your mother’s cooking. Through the gyro meat and the option of the real real chili oil that your mother likes because that warm spice home feeling flows through generations.

“Three Days in Chicago” (2016) Film Still #3

There are things I notice here, things I haven’t thought about it in a long time. The call to prayer ringing sunset on his phone. Wondering what people are like here as my dad walks into a small gas station mart on the side of road all dressed for this Bengali wedding that brought us here. Feeling afraid. I know where in Sacramento I’ll get dangerous looks, but this is new territory. We can never blend in. It’s been a while since I’ve seen my parents. It’s been awhile since I’ve gone somewhere new with them, since I’ve felt a protective urge armoring my tongue for anything.