by - December 22, 2013

"What I like about photographs is that they capture a moment that’s gone forever, impossible to reproduce."
Karl Lagerfeld

The Dutch word of 2013 is "selfie". There are two reasons why people weren't that happy about this.
1) Selfie isn't a Dutch word.
2) A lot of people find selfie an ugly or even an unattainable word.

In case you didn't know...

Regarding the first point, I'm totally down with that. I think the purpose of making this sort of competitions between words that are fluently used within a certain amount of time within a particulair country ought to be based upon that. Especially when you call it "The Dutch word of the year". I mean, if you're going to include for instance English words, than you should call it "The international word of the year frequently used within the boundaries of the Netherlands". It doesn't sound as catchy, but it is the truth!

Second point, I'm totally not down with that. Yes, the elderly mostly don't understand the meaning of the word. They apparently can't comprehand that a selfie is synonymous to a selfportrait. Selfies aren't a new phenomenon, as a smart reporter reported. It didn't just came into our excistense right after the invention of the smart phone. No, ever since we humans have walked the earth, we've tried to depict ourselves. Think for instance about the cave paintings made during the prehistory. I mean, in someway that's just a selfie with some animals on the background (you could also see it as one of the first distinctions in scenery paintings, but I say it's obviously a selfie).

Vincent van Gogh: the king of selfies, Alexa Chung: the king of keeping it cool and Anastacia: the king of mystery.

The reporter who reported the news claimed that Vincent van Gogh is the king of making the ultimate selfie. A picture that stands through times and meaning, with an expression bound to that moment (often with a bit of a touch up here and there). That's why, he concluded, that selfies are very popular among celebrities. Celebrities are most aware of the impact of a picture and can somewhat control their image by what they share of themselves with the rest of the world. I guess this goes up for everyone of us.

I've always been fascinated about pictures and how they can preserve a certain atmosphere. Or how they can play with the idea of something. Hereby I mean with pictures also paintings, which are basically the pictures before the invention of the camera. A picture can tell everything, but a picture can also tell nothing. A picture can drown in its own image or exclude all the pictures that were taken before that particular picture. It can mark of a period and it can support the future. A picture is, as Karl Lagerfeld stated, a (created) moment that after you've captured it will be gone forever. Rookie had this post about pictures that were never taken. They've tried to recreate that picture that never excisted, but you feel like it ought've been there. "Rescuing moments from the tides of time" is a beautiful way to make a statement out of this. The idea that a memory can last forever (or atleast for a longer period of time, beyond your excistens) is getting fulfilled through the medium of a picture.

I'm not a big fan of taking pictures of myself. Although I must admit, ever since I've got a smart phone there's this great urge to make selfies. It's a sort of ritual of trying to make a picture that's pleasing to yourself. And I guess a selfie tells a lot about the one who's made it. For that matter of fact every picture, whatever it's image, says something about the photographer. Though I'm not yet sure what...


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