26 by 26 7:09am, 11 July 2013
Challenge #10:
Imagine you're a time traveler from a hundred years in the future.
Make a picture that shows how you perceive this place.
– Carolyn Drake

Two Rivers

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All images copyright of Carolyn Drake

“The two main rivers of Central Asia, the Amu Darya and the Syr Darya, originate in the mountains near China’s western border and run into the Aral Sea – or at least they used to, before the Soviets diverted them to irrigate cotton fields. The Greeks knew the two rivers as the Oxus and the Jaxartes. A Muslim hadith holds that they are two of the four rivers that flow into Paradise. ‘Two Rivers’ is Carolyn Drake’s photographic record of many visits to this region over the past five years. Drake’s Central Asia is a place where political allegiances, ethnic bonds, national borders, and even physical geography are in such flux as to seem, at times, like fictions. Following the two rivers, she traces a vast ecosystem of stories, nature, money, and history.” - Elif Batuman, the New Yorker
Read more:


As well as being a good place to connect with other members and share your initial reactions, thoughts about how to 'solve it' and any links you think might help the group. This can also be a good place to include any old photos you have that fit the challenge or your work-in-progress during the two weeks before posting your final image to the group pool.

We're looking forward to hearing people's thoughts, good luck everyone!
— 26 by 26 team
david_gillett 5 years ago
I've a hunch they'll be stunned at our wastefulness:

scala66/Paul Marsh PRO 5 years ago
dacaccia Posted 5 years ago. Edited by dacaccia (member) 5 years ago
It depends on where the time traveller would stop and look around. In Vienna perhaps? in this case he might feel familiar with old times.


But many other places would frighten him, like Berlin:


What would he think about this most awful event happened some time after his death ... ?

Never forget.
Monty May (OBSERVE) PRO Posted 5 years ago. Edited by Monty May (OBSERVE) (member) 5 years ago
Beer Injection #2

Steamish Button

Parking Level

Circus & Train
Julia M Cameron PRO Posted 5 years ago. Edited by Julia M Cameron (admin) 5 years ago
This would look like terribly old technology I suspect!

#25 Walk Past 4
Nick Kenrick.. PRO 5 years ago
London candid
sobrenivel 5 years ago
We could do the same comparison that we can do right now, but worse:

photodrum PRO 5 years ago
When we look back 100 years ago from now, often what we see and respond to are things that identify that age by what was then cutting edge technology, stylish fashion, modern architecture and advertisement styles of the day. So, I would think that for those looking back at today, 100 years from now, what they will respond to will be what is today's technology, fashion, advertisement and architecture. Carolyn Drake's images, however, take a different track, showing us a dystopian world in a state or decay. Who knows what the future may bring? The condition of our world may be so bad 100 years from now that what we see today in her gloomy images will seem to those who may live in much worse, while not pristine, like a clean sustainable environment.

Or, it may be the other way around, a world where we finally get a handle on runaway population growth and the subsequences of what that growth implies. In that scenario, her gloomy images may be interpreted as only one possibility for our future - a future that did not play out because we heard the ringing bells of hers and our warning images. I'm not yet sure where to go with this one.
MrGorski 5 years ago

Dear 'Drum
Good to hear someone taking an optimistic and not merely pessimistic view of what the future may hold. (Carolyn, it's just too easy to assert that the planet and the human race is going to hell in a hand cart, OK? If it was going to be that bad then the future would be deserted, they'd all be back here hoovering up Earth's resources … umm, yes, well I'll have to think about that one). That aside, I think you're surely right to make the link between the future and the past in the way that you do: our most direct connection to the past going thru the most general channels–seeing the inside of a store being powerful, seeing the inside (say) of a tailors workshop less so (unless you have a suitably similar background of experience/interest). Assuming that visitors from the future are human–and not roaches taking pictures of the ancestors behind our cookers, or worse–maybe one way to approach the challenge is by photographing something ordinary, everyday? Like a family sitting down together to eat, or something. I mean, if you're right, then the most affecting scenes will be those that are cross-cultural: it won't be the fact that we're extravagantly different from the time-traveller that gets his or her (or …? Heck!) attention, but the fact that he or she finds some things about the stuff that we do achingly familiar. (Isn't this a bit like thinking about the Romans?)
maximilianen 5 years ago
SPNP - Instruction #45
Robin Layfield 5 years ago
Now is better than 30 years ago – we have cleaner air, no lead pollution in car exhaust fumes, less trash in the streets, more energy efficiency and greener technology, less violence and in general a better quality of life.

Who's to say that 100 years from now conditions won't be much improved?

I think the things that would really stand out to someone from the future would be the things that we perceive as futuristic now. Buildings like the Gherkin and the Shard would probably look quaint and a bit post-post-modern, road vehicles would still have wheels and be organic shapes, people still staring at screens instead of physically engaging with a real-world interface. Clothes and contemporary fashions would look distinctly strange, so perhaps the challenge is to capture the oddness in what we see as the entirely mundane.

Then again maybe a hundred years down the road there will be drones and stasi-like constant monitoring, a lack of fresh air and open green space. If you want a real taste of the future, read Cormac McCarthy's the Road and you'll never look at a falling leaf or a tin of peaches the same way again.

Oh. I think I've just paraphrased much of Photodrum's post…
krysolove 5 years ago
I think that some things are real example of working time machine. Very clear illustration to that are call-boxes. No one uses them not for its intended purpose, cause everione this day has a cellphone. And no one could imagine this, to say, 20 years ago. But they are still standing all around as some strange artifacts of the past going away.

annemmu PRO Posted 5 years ago. Edited by annemmu (member) 5 years ago
For this challenge I tried to look at things as if i were from outer space.Observing with curiousity but not comprehending.



Blue piping
Julia M Cameron PRO 5 years ago

~ Meredith ~ Posted 5 years ago. Edited by ~ Meredith ~ (member) 5 years ago
Been side tracked by other things recently so haven't yet fully viewed what everyone has been posting in response. I wondered what would happen if the time traveller landed somewhere deserted though and perhaps came upon a time capsule. What would they make of what they found inside? A lot of the fascination about looking backwards for me is about the people. What were their lives like? What things interested them? That sort of thing. I tried to think about that when I was taking my shots this weekend.
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