American Sierra Leonean MyronChristian Macauley based in New York, is as much a master philosopher as he is a photographer. That much is apparent in his recently released collection of photos Modern Man in Search of Soul, and in his discussion of that work.
by Rawiya Kameir
The book Modern Man In Search Of Soul, whose name is a homage to Carl Jung’s similarly titled book, chronicles Macauley’s travels over seven years and multiple continents. It came out of what functioned as a journal of sorts as he visited places like Kenya, India, Burma, Peru and Brazil and, as he describes it, the journey to find beauty and truth.
“The work was just basically a rebellion,” Macauley says. “It was my own personal adventure. It was my escape.” And indeed, his sense of adventure is clear, as he combines words and photos that capture the essences of human nature. The photos, though mostly staged, manage to transcend the vast differences in subject, culture, and landscape that make them so fascinating. Accordingly, Macauley’s journey across the world reminded him that despite our differences, we have more in common with one another than we tend to acknowledge. Everyone just wants to care for their families,” he says.
Moreover, our society—in the so-called globalized world, at least—is finding itself further and further away from its spiritual roots, disconnecting individuals from the greater meaning of their existence. “From a completely genuine and unpatronizing standpoint, we all may have quite a great deal to learn from the Mayans, Incas, Masaai, Karen and other traditional cultures,” Macauley writes. This perspective, albeit a fundamental one, is a strong departure from the work of many of his American and European peers.
In fact, it’s a theme that was derived in part from the images of Africa he saw growing up. “Reading National Geographic, you saw all these aboriginal people. But no one in my family resembled anyone [in those magazines],” Macauley says. “I started to really question what is being African.”
Nowadays, though, Macauley is probing larger themes. Namely, the question at the root of Modern Man In Search Of Soul: what does it mean to be human? …Read More