Consumer Pulse
- Selfies in
History
Daniel Dorje

Youth in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are caught between proving their globalised identities, whilst at the same time not losing their Islamic roots. They feel they have to do this without appearing too traditional or fundamentalist.

One way they show their connection to and detachment from their history, all at the same time, is partly via selfie moments.

Here we see a group of guys taking a group selfie, with a selfie stick, in front of a barrow sellers stall of traditional dishes, mocked up for the sake of the market.

The selfie stick lets the group take the whole scene; friends, traditional costume and the food barrows all in one big ‘cultural selfie’. At the same time, they maintain their independent modern identity, offsetting it in relation to the tradition landscape.

Selfies: Making History Ironic

This mini was marked up with the Instagram strip as an invitation to take photographs of it outside a photo studio in Jeddah.

The mini is also a historical artefact, but it is given new meaning by being made into a site for Instagram selfies. This lets the youth take pictures of themselves, set against their history, but at the same time maintaining a modern framing and ironic distance to it.

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