For years, people have been documenting everyday life through the medium of photography. First shown in 1955, The Family of Man, one of the world’s most famous photography exhibitions, went on to tour the world for years, giving audiences a glimpse into everyday life in the 1950s. This year A DAY.org, a global photography project, is encouraging people around the world, whether amateur or professional, to pick up a camera on May 15 and capture everyday moments that are important to them.
Participants will upload their images to one of three categories – Home, Work and Connections – on the A DAY.org site, enabling a global audience to share, compare and explore each other’s images immediately.
Jeppe Wikström, renowned Swedish photographer and co-founder of the project, says that thanks to technological developments, people from all over the world can gather in an inclusive, collaborative online environment to reflect on humanity and the parts we play in it.
"Eight years ago, we did a similar project called A Day in the Life of Sweden, and more than half of the pictures were taken with analog film," Wikström says. "People sent their prints and slides to us through the mail, which meant that it was quite an effort for them to participate. Today, technology makes it so much easier for us to reach out and connect with one another, and whether or not your image is chosen for the exhibition or book, it will still be celebrated on the site."
Helena Norrman, Senior Vice President and Head of Group Function Communications, says the inclusive, global nature of A DAY.org is a true indication that we are on the brink of the Networked Society – and that’s why Ericsson chose to become the project’s founding partner.
"The Networked Society really is the driving factor for this project," Norrman says. "The A Day project empowers people, business and society to come together in one place, to share a piece of history that will be preserved for future generations."
Wikström says it is important for the project to have Ericsson as a founding partner because the company’s technology plays such an essential role in people’s lives.
"This project is about moments, and Ericsson is very much a part of everyday life for people all over the world," he says. "Everyone is, in some way, affected by the technology Ericsson has created."
Celebrity participants from all over the globe, across all industries, are joining A DAY.org to capture today and inspire tomorrow. Some of the big names include Swedish pop singer Robyn, Virgin boss Richard Branson, and South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who says photos are a great way for us to learn from one another because they "transcend the barriers of language, age, gender and culture."
The collection of images will be stored digitally so that future generations can see what life was like in 2012. A time capsule will also be buried in a mine in northern Sweden.
"When people look back in time, they very often see only what was documented in newspapers, and that’s often based on sensationalism," Wikström says. "The pictures taken on May 15 will represent life’s everyday moments. While many things will appear to be different, such as clothes and cars and communication devices, I think future generations will recognize that the most genuine moments are similar to those that we experience today, because what makes us human is essentially timeless."
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