Documentary photographer Leah Peterson discusses her project, Erasure, with Hunger TV.
TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF.
Originally an NYC artist, I have since expanded my photographic interests from Colorado to Cambodia. My work is less about capturing a commonality of human environments in the absolute but more about exploring societal norms in cultures and subcultures, regardless of geography.
EXPLAIN THE CONCEPT BEHIND THIS PROJECT?
This project, Erasure, hovers between photographic observation and video experimentation. My photographs and videos mirror the cultural and environmental changes of the local traditional culture and changes to the physical landscape that are occurring in Southeast Asia. As these third-world nations are being influenced by Western culture and governments are modernizing their cities, villages on the outskirts are becoming more distinctly the remnant of a lost cultural ideology. It’s this remnant of traditional culture, architecture, and history that I’m intrigued by and chose to document. Erasure is comprised of photographs, drawings, and videos taken during my travels to South East Asia where I documented villages and cities of Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam.
WHAT’S THE DREAM PROJECT?
My dream project would be to travel the world and continue documenting the impact of globalization and economic changes in developing countries. My interest is in exploring the transition from ancient culture and society to modernization and the intersect of so called “progress and development”.
WHO DO YOU AMDIRE, AND WHO INFLUENCES YOUR WORK?
My work has been influenced by the photographers, artists, and filmmakers that inspire me to make my own work, for example, Alec Soth, Philip Lorca-DiCorcia, Joel Sternfeld, Rineke Dijkstra, Collier Schorr, Joan Fonctuberta, Bruce Nauman, Vito Acconci, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Raphael Lozanno-Hemmer, Yasumasa Morimura, Eva and Franco Mattes and Wes Anderson.