“What’s in your bag” photography project re-imagined at the University of Hertfordshire

[Marie Land Andersen | Contributing Writer]

The author of this contribution to BlueMoon’s Weird and Wonderful edition stumbled across the work of photographer Jason Travis during her nightly internet roaming on her smartphone whilst she’s technically supposed to be trying to sleep.

Travis set out to capture the persona of strangers on his travels by asking to photograph what they carried in their bags and/or pockets. There doesn’t seem to be a lot more to the art project than that, but whilst scrolling through the captions, a theme seemed to emerge where there seemed to not be a single condom, old receipt, tampon, or pocket lint in sight!

Whilst I will not go so far as to say that the whole thing was staged, I will point out that it is rather unusual for someone to walk around carrying a machete, and yet the photographer managed to find two who just happened to walk around with a rusty sword in their shoulder bag. This is not to mention the guy who had three different generation vintage GameBoys, (which I am absolutely not knocking – personally I used to walk around with a Gameboy Advance I bought off of Ebay and a Donkey Kong cartridge…) but what kind of situation is that man expecting to encounter that requires having three vintage GameBoys, is what I want to know.

So, I took the liberty of re-creating this project, and approached a few people and asked them to empty their bags (in a non-threatening, non-robbery kind of way, of course!) for me to photograph.

farhad

Farhad Qurashi, a 1st year Mathematics student, emptied his bag for me enthusiastically and the content can be seen below:

Farhad's crap

I noted that there was a Play Station controller among his items, and he stated it was because he wanted to be prepared for a virtual showdown with his friend.

Besa

Besa Terholli, a 3rd year Advertisement and Marketing student, was not afraid to show me her’s and poured out the content of her bag onto a sticky Ele House table.

Besa's crap

She remarked that even though there were two eyelash curlers in there, she actually never used them and we couldn’t quite reach a conclusion as to why she’d bother carrying them around.

Luke

Luke Heudebourck also stepped up to the plate. He’s a Computer Science student and Crush Radio Presenter, and was kind enough to spread his belongings out in a corridor near Prince Edward Hall for my photographing!

Luke's crap

As we can see, the lovely young man is a fan of our very own Blue Moon, and also one of those kind people who carries around a deodorant, just in case!

Gunjan

I also managed to convince the sweet Gunjan Grover to empty her stuff out on the floor and pose for me.

Gunjan's crap

Among her belongings were three “bribery coins” that had been in play during a Murder Mystery charity event previously that evening, in which she was an actor. This is something you will be able to read more about in the upcoming issue of Universe.

Kat

Our very own Kat Clements also agreed to be part of this little project and emptied her pockets for our curious inspection.

Kat's crap

As you can see, there’s suspiciously little amongst her belongings that look suspicious. Perhaps that is the most suspicious thing of all! (kidding Kat!)

Cassandra

Cassandra Gjermundbo, a Graphic Design student and lovely fellow Norwegian, also participated when I ambushed her in the hallway, and spread her things out on a nearby table.

Cassandra's crap

As we can see, she is helping bringing back the awesome Troll Dolls (yay 90’s!) and also health and safety conscious, carrying around a head light for those dark and pesky Hatfield roads.

Marie

And, because it just wouldn’t be fair if I didn’t contribute, I have also emptied out my things for your perusal. My name is Marie Land Andersen, and I’m a final year Psychology student from Norway.

Marie's crap

If you ever need a plaster, I’m your girl, same goes for amateur manicures, a loose button (note the sewing kit), dirty fingers or a match.

As you may have noticed, I’ve captured no illegal (or legal – wait, is there even such a thing?) weapons and only one GameBoy as far as I could tell.

Now, you may wonder what the point of this little project was, other than to prove that most people don’t walk around with swords in their day to day lives (though I will admit I have a rather small and slightly skewed sample size to actually conclude with this) and that people do in fact carry around tampons and pocket lint (well, I do!). Well, there wasn’t really one, other than aiming to discover the weird and wonderful that we all carry each day.
What’s the weirdest thing in your bag? Let us know @TridentMediaUK!

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“What’s in your bag” photography project re-imagined at the University of Hertfordshire