Now we’ve all been on the subway at some point in our lives, clattering along in silence as strangers who sit mere centimetres from you, pretend you don’t exist. Nobody talks, nobody makes a sound – because we’re now all plugged in, wired up, connected, downloading, streaming, typing and creeping around various Facebook profiles.
There’s unquestionably a genuine social disconnect on most forms of public transport and because of this, photographer Benz Thanachart decided it was about time shake people up from their slumber. He wanted the public to sit up and took notice of the world around them – literally.
So whilst on the subway in Thailand, he would stand up in a crowded carriage and yell something utterly offbeat & random to get people’s attention. At that very moment he took a photo, capturing their expressions, surprise, shock & awe.
From utter silence to utter absurdity.
“Everybody was facing down and being cut off from the outside world. At that time although I was being in my hometown, the feeling of unfamiliarity gradually emerged. So I decided to do something to express that disoriented emotion. I got into the subway, shouted out a random word that is completely unrelated to the situation and then captured that moment. It was the moment when everyone was getting out of their small worlds and noticing the presence of public space.”
What words does he shout exactly? “Fried Egg!” “Crocodile!” and the hilarious “Kafka!!” – what would you think if this happened to you? Would you laugh, be surprised or continue to be plugged in and yet disconnected?