Eric’s Note: Tomasz Lazar, a very talented young street photographer recently has had the honor of being chosen by the jury of Emphas.is to present his project “Theater of Life” alongside with such great photographer as: Kadir van Lohuizen,Lynsey Addario, Christopher Morris, Paolo Pellegrin, Tomas van Houtryve, Laura El-Tantawy, Carolyn Drake or Joao Pina. Now he is trying to gather money for next part of my “Theater of Life“. With Emphas.is you can get access to the entire process of developing the project, tracking his every step from planning to research to the travel diary.
Tomasz: Theater of life is a very personal project about life – how I perceive of it. It is an exploration of surrealism in everyday life. Theatre of life is an essay that is a combination of my experiences and thoughts about what surrounds me.
As a result of fast changing technological development that are shaping our lives and the invading presence of the mass media, many people seem to feel disconnected from the world. Some seek refuge and create alternative realities for themselves. Some merely look for a temporary escape, by “letting off steam”. Some dress in costumes, play role games or pretend to be heroes from movies, games or Japanese anime. We all find our ways to cope somehow. These “off” moments are what interest me.
The concept of the surreal, the Theatrum Mundi – Theatre of the World – stems from Plato; the world as a place where man is only a puppet, an actor, whose role is to play his part in the theatre of life; a play created by the powerful being known as the creator (Demiurg, God).
Today, the place of the devine power has been taken over by the mass media. It is the mass media that shapes our lives, tells us what is right or wrong and creates the narrative of our existence. We are under the influence of a mass culture that comes straight from the television and the internet. It seems to me, people are increasingly getting lost between the borders of two worlds: the real world in which they live and the world created by the media.
This phenomenon can most notably be seen in most highly developed countries, the place, where people rely more and more on technology in everyday life, where the mass media have had the greatest impact on people.
To develop this project further I want to go to the most technologized cities of our globe, such as Tokyo, New York, Las Vegas, Sydney and Hong Kong to observe the theatre of life there.
My next trip will be to Japan, the country that is most developed or invaded by technology. The level of technological development of metropolitan areas has reached such a level in Japan, that to me it has become surreal in itself. I would like to focus on street life and an “escapist culture” that seems to be growing there. I am planning to visit Japan in April/May.
You can help me reach my goal and join me on the journey. I am hoping to raise $7,000 to pay for my flights, accommodation, food, transport in and around Tokyo for two months to extend my project.
Prints offered as rewards for this project will be selected from the work Tomasz will produce in Japan. These prints will be exclusively available on Emphas.is.
>> Donate to “Theatre of Life” on Emphas.is – crowdfunded visual journalism