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Surveillance Camera Versus Photography

Except if you live in your basement, everyone can see the increase of surveillance cameras in our societies. Some photographers like julie ferguson even questioned this and reuse images of surveillance cameras to create new photographic artwork.

In the past years, there are obviously a parallel increase of paranoia against the street photographers. I argue with someone in the street asking why I'm taking pictures in the street and telling me that I shouldn't take photographs here. We were surrounded by CCTV camera while mentioning this, the guy just left. Questioning myself about this, the answer was not obvious at a first glance. I have a small theory about it (for what it worths).

The increase of video surveillance was done without real complaints from the citizen. It's there and it seems that everyone is living with it. But as a matter of fact, surveillance cameras are there and complaining is nearly impossible. My feeling is the following, it's a psychological displacement. Basically the aggressive feeling against video surveillance is transferred to a mere allusion, the street photographer.


CCTV in Paris, ƒ/2, 135mm, cctv on flickr