I remember once returning home from work, which I had to do on a Saturday, and being delayed by hundreds of people walking down the road at the end of this derelict street. There was a football match at nearby Manchester City and the tribes were out marching. I’m just back from the Pyrenees. I reflect, as always, on the experience I had and what it might mean. What struck me is the sense of dislocation you have in the mountains which is inherent with travel generally. I sensed the comfort of returning home and why it was comforting. It’s comforting because you are firmly located in a particular place. Physically, socially, psychologically, culturally, and more. Then I considered this obsession with “identity”. The world has gone mad with “identity”. It’s in sociology, so called politics, and too many tedious photography projects undertaken at college.

“Identity” should lead to what Carl Jung called individuation. Individuation is freedom from environmental conditioning which is what “identity” means when it’s used as above. We need less emphasis on this tiresome notion of cultural “identity” not more. Jung noted that the world is not yet at that stage of development. Everyone wants to be in a club of one kind or another and affirm and defend it and often with violence. We need the comfort of an environmental location but also an education which challenges such diminished viewpoints. I vote for this party, follow these rituals, believe this, believe that, and you do not so we have hostile relations. It’s pathetic nonsense. One reason I like wild flowers is because they break the rules. They grow everywhere reminding us of the facts of wildness and its psychological correspondence.


Manchester Wild Flowers: Miles Platting Tribes

Thursday September 4, 2014