smilla smiles: featured in the Feet Project

May 1, 2013 § 1 Comment

Thanks to my friend and somewhat mentor lilzeon, I just took part in an original project about feet. Yes, you read it well: feet.

The Feet Project aims at exploring the universe of human feet and the way people relate to their feet. Some love them, others don’t. Some are aware of their special relationship with them, some aren’t. And does a shoe-shiner relate to feet the same way a dancer would? Or a shoemaker? Or a sportsman? Some people are also fascinated by feet, some don’t care. Feet become an object and prism of social reflection.

The project is collaborative: anyone can subscribe a picture of their feet and attach a story about them. Tell the team how you feel about these 5-fingered extremities propping at the end of your legs. The final output of the project will be a social documentary about the relationship people nurture with their feet – depending on their state of mind, profession, physical condition… It is a sociological study in this sense, and by reading the Why this project? section, you will better understand why.The Feet Project

Taking part in the project made me realise 2 things.

First, how much we neglect our feet. I mean, they are there. We wrap them in shoes, we wash them, we walk with them, but do we really stop and contemplate them for a second, thinking how strange life would be without them? They take us – people who are lucky enough to have two healthy feet – everywhere: walking, but also cycling and running as far as I’m concerned. In the introduction of the project, it is very truthfullly written:

It’s strange how often we overlook our feet. It takes a conscious effort to look down at them, to consider their significance. We’re too busy thinking about how to get from A to B, it seems we forget about the feet that are getting us there.

Second, I also thought it was a very peculiar experience to actually focus and tell about my feet. As a result of the lack of attention we bear to our feet, it is also quite challenging to say something about them, to formulate clearly how we feel about them. Or maybe this is just me? For some people really love their feet and have no trouble talking about them conceptually. I had to sit for a while and think. Which kind of picture would best represent them and tell the relationship I have with them? I didn’t want something as mainstream as the holiday feet on Instagram (I forgot the name of this “trend”). I had the feeling that people actually talk a lot about shoes, but not necessarily about feet themselves, except for reflexologists or podologists maybe. The reason for this might be that shoes are separated from the body, while feet are not, and paradoxically, we tend not to be aware enough of what pertains to our own body.

And actually when I found the right cliché, it became obvious that my feet couldn’t be separated from their shoes. I love being barefoot (I’ve grown up barefoot for the longest part of my childhood). But shoes, they protect and shelter feet. They also make them socially beautiful. And above all, feet+shoes take me in places, which is why they make me feel comfortably free.

(To view my contribution, it’s here.)

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To take part in The Feet Project and submit, please go there: http://www.feet-project.com/submit

To follow the project on Twitter: @feetproject

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