the Urban Millennium Project

Bas Losekoot

2011 - 2013

"On May 23, 2007 the world celebrated the beginning of the Urban Millennium. On this date there are more people living in cities than in rural areas: 3.3 billion people on three percent of the earth's surface"

Nowadays cities are built with metropolitan structures never seen before. I think this increasing urbanization has a major impact on people. This project is about the city as the center of globalised society and how it reflects on its residents. Who are these anonymous urban citizens in these cultural dynamic cities that seem to be heterogeneous? How do people react to each other in areas of overpopulation? To me streetlife is a continuous stream of split-second meetings.

The serie I’m showing here is a mix of New York City, Sau Paulo, Seoul and Mumbai, are part of this ongoing project in which I try to explore the role of the individual in some of the largest metropoles in the world. The next cities to be documented are selected based on elements like: population density, speed of urbanization and size of economy. Important in these cities is that the ‘future’ is tangible and its government is making decisions based on the promise of the so-called ‘progression’. I’m now working in Hong Kong, and I will continue with London, Mexico City and Tokyo.

For my images I install flashlights on the streets to create a surreal mix of natural and artificial light. This results in an interesting heightened drama in everyday situations, a hyper-reality of a street scene that becomes a fictional documentary image. It empowers the ability of photography to freeze a moment. I try to capture off-beat moments in everyday life that normally remain unseen; small gestures that visualize the relationship of these modern globalised urban citizens with their environment, with eachother and with themselves.

The project, containing images of these eight cities will be presented in a book, in which the viewer gets an anthropological insight on human behavior in the most crowded cities in the world.

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