In 1954-55 Edward Steichen team received almost 2 million images that were edited down into his curatorial masterpiece entitled The Family of Man. Shown first in New York’s MoMA it travelled to 38 countries offering audiences a rich photographic tapestry of what it meant to be human. From birth, love, and joy, to war, deprivation, illness and death it was the global snapshot of humanity for its day.
Today, through our smartphone cameras and apps like Instagram, we are producing images and exhibiting at an unprecedented global scale. Instagram alone reports receiving 40 million images PER DAY. However our images divide off as they are catalogued through the use of the always expanding hashtag language. Unlike Steichen’s project, they miss bringing all aspects of being human into one “gallery”.
#thehashtagofman invites photographers of all levels to participate in a project which, while paying homage to the concept of Steichen’s original creation, brings it up to date, not just in pictures but through the technology. Utilizing how we now photograph in combination with the internet and the use of the single hashtag to form communities this organic collection will shape the unfolding kaleidoscope of life and define what it means to be human now.