Negative Vibes: Fukuoka

Orio Station Signal Negative

This is a photograph taken recently (12/2018) at Orio Station at night. Again, it fits with the theme of transition but this time for obvious reasons – it’s a train station – and people are moving from one place to another. To add to this, Orio Station is undergoing a major redevelopment and expansion at the moment. New tracks, additional platforms, even a new elevated station building serving the line that goes out to the Wakamatsu area of Kitakyushu City. The transformation involves major roadworks with bridges being removed and replaced in different locations. Apart from liking the striking signal rendered white at the top of the image and the clouds in a sepia-like hue, the image is very dynamic. There’s a lot going on in it. However, that’s not really why I decided to post the picture. This kind of photography reminds me of the concepts of Positive and Negative Freedom that characterise bourgeois society. Positive freedoms are those which have been fought for and won by people and which enhance their lives. Examples would be the establishment of universal health care services, free education and the right to organise in a way that make it possible for people to maximise their potential. Negative freedoms are those which remove barriers that stop individuals from doing whatever they want, for example by removing constraints on businesses and corporations to enable them to maximise profits at the expense of the environment and workers rights and so on. Negative Freedoms, then, are only those which are enjoyed to the full by those who have economic power and who own and control the means of production. Negative photography also reminds me of something else. It literally inverts dark and light. Negatives are usually used to make positive prints. In other words positive prints are normal images – the way things should be. When I see a negative, I’m reminded that the world is upside down and inside out and so I think about how we can correct it and improve things for everyone.