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the boys who could ly


you dream of the sky but you don’t know how to ly


the boys who could ly sarah packer

in collaboration with Mark Packer and Jack Packer


The Boys Who Could Fly is a collaborative project between myself and my two younger brothers, Mark (18yrs old) and Jack (15yrs old). They are both the subject of my photography but also participants in the process; in taking their own photographs they help in providing an alternative perspective to myself as the photographer, whilst also giving a basis for the truth visible in my own imagery. My work documents everyday situations: visions that relect a sensation of familiarity and chaos, combined with subtle details of odd or eccentric, humoristic elements that can often arise in photography that focuses on family and youth. Myself and all my siblings are part of Generation Y, the generation of kids that feel unfulilled and unsure of what they should do with their lives, no opportunities, no direction. I think that is a huge generalisation on the youth of today and yet the idea that we have no direction is also what can trigger experimentation and new ideas. Self fulilling prophecies often take place, teenagers are forced into this expectation of who they are and how they act and have no choice but to follow it. Myself and my four siblings have tried to keep away from this expectation put upon our generation. We laugh and joke and tell each other everything, that support takes us forward - I think that surprises people and yet I ind it unusual when families aren’t like that. I think parents can hide from their children sometimes, I guess my mum couldn’t do that in a small three bedroom house with ive kids. We are brought up in ways that can deine us as human beings, ways that can form our human experience, our ways of connecting with others, our perception of the world in front of us. Technology advances every day, there is no rest, no boundaries, nothing stopping us from connecting with everything, from staying in one place and living our entire life in front of a computer screen. How are the teenagers being brought up in this digitized era going to develop? What is now important to them? Do they hold the same values as their parents did when they were teenagers? Is their social identity purely an online entity or is it also physical? What happens to real life experiences when everything you could possibly need to learn and know about life is a Google search away? What will my brothers do?


Photograph taken by Jack, 2013 “Me and Mark were watching tv together and he was singing the songs he had written and they were pretty good so I took a photo�


Photograph taken by Mark, 2013 “This is on the train when I was heading up to Bath to see my girlfriend .�


Selie by Mark, 2013 “Crazy selie, I thought it would be funny”


Selie by Jack, 2013


Photograph taken by Jack, 2013 “Mark was doing a poo and that was it really, I took the photo because it was funny. It actually looks a bit creepy, but it’s good because you don’t see him actually being on the toilet.”


Photograph taken by Mark, 2013 this page “Photo inception!” Following page “Jack had just done his hair so I took a picture because it is so funny how long he takes to do his hair, it’s like an hour!”


Photograph taken by Mark, 2013 “Jack spends most of his time watching Youtube videos - really weird ones, people go insane if they spend too much time with us�


Photograph taken by Jack, 2013 “Tabula is always sleeping on my bed so it makes it a bit diicult to sleep in bed as well�


Photograph taken by Jack, 2013 “Mark on my way to the train station, he wanted me to take the picture because it is his routine and he wanted to make sure I captured that�


Photograph taken by Mark, 2013 “Jack still in his school uniform, he always rolls his sleeves up like that...�


in conversation with

Mark and Jack Sarah: Generation Y, that’s what you are part of and what it basically has been deined as is that anyone born from the 1990’s onwards are part of a generation where all the people are unfulilled, like the kids put of adult life and responsibilities as much as possible so you are also called the peter pan generation so you feel unfulilled and you don’t have any goals in life and stuf. Would you say that was accurate? Mark: Yeah, within certain boundaries. Sarah: What do you mean by that? Mark: I think everyone is a peter pan *laughs* Sarah: You think everyone is peter pan? Mark: I don’t think everyone is, I think it generalises everyone, people like me. I have goals and driving motivation. Sarah: What about you Jack? Jack: Yeah what he said. Sarah: as a teenager you’ve got all this digital technology at the moment and when I was a kid I didn’t have that as much, so you guys sit all day inside and I used to, when I was younger, go outside. Jack: instead of like playing a board game or like when it’s raining or something instead of playing a board game or doing something productive I just play Xbox. Sarah: why do you do that? Jack: Cos its fun. Sarah: Do you ever think about your future jack? Jack: yeah Sarah: what do you think about it? Jack: that I don’t know, I think it could go in like many ways. As in like you can be successful but then I could be homeless. Sarah: I don’t think you’d be homeless. So would you rather have been a teenager 10 years ago or is it cool being a teenager now? Mark: I think I’m suited to now.


Jack: yeah me too Sarah: Why? Mark: Just cos there’s lots of cool stuf Jack: I’d rather kill zombies than read a book Sarah: You’d rather kill zombies than read a book about zombies? Jack: Yeah Sarah: I don’t think I’ve ever seen you read a book jack Jack: Yeah I don’t read, well I read comics, Mark: read four. Jack: I read like digital books on my kindle. Sarah: Do you actually read books on that Jack? Jack: No, you have to pay for them. Sarah: So you don’t read books? Jack: No, but I do have a kindle to pretend *laughs* Sarah: What about girls? You don’t give a crap do you Jack? About girls at the moment. Jack: No not really. Mark: Germs and stuf. Sarah: But you’ve got a girlfriend Mark: Yeah Sarah: You’ve always got a girlfriend Mark Jack: I don’t have one; I don’t have a job so I don’t have any money so I can’t buy anything Mark: and that’s important to buy stuf for them Sarah: So what age do you boys want to be independent by? So you support yourself, you’re earning your own money and maybe about to leave home? Mark: I’d like to say now but I don’t think until 20. Jack: maybe a few years ater college


Sarah: so 20 Jack. Jack: yeah cos I’ll be like 16 when I’ve started and then 18 or 19 when inished. Sarah: inish your a levels but do you want to do a degree? Jack: yeah yeah Sarah: so you’ll be like 21 when you leave Jack: so maybe then Sarah: what about you mark? What are you going to do? Mark: be a nurse Sarah: What do your friends think of that? Mark: they think I’m really gay and feminine and they think I should just do something else. Sarah: Like what? Mark: Err…be a brickie Sarah: Be a what? Mark: A bricklayer or like a plumber or something, but you know. Sarah: What about you Jack, what do you want to do? Jack: I don’t know, I like art but then as a job I want to do like animal stuf, like I want to work in a zoo, like obviously like a zoo but I don’t think that’ll happen so maybe a pet shop. Sarah: Why don’t you think that will happen? Jack: Cos you have to get like stuf Sarah: I know someone who works in a zoo and they don’t have any qualiications for that Jack: Well I’ll work in a zoo then Sarah: What would be your dream life? Like your dream job? Jack: his will probably sound really gay but like playing games, like Rooster Teeth and things they play games, they make mine crat and stuf and it’s a community and that would be cool. Sarah: what about you Mark?


Mark: Be in a band and tour everywhere, that would be quite cool Sarah: what do you think is stopping you from doing that? Mark: I’m not very good *laughs* Jack: I don’t really like have the money or the equipment to record and stuf and I don’t have anyone else to record with and it would be a bit boring if it was just me. Sarah: Do you think your friends (pause) do you think your friends’ family are like ours? Mark: No Sarah: Why not? Mark: hey’re all boring, well not boring, they are all mature and…boring. *laughs* Sarah: What about you Jack? Are they all boring? Jack: I wouldn’t say…yeah Sarah: Why? What do we do that they don’t do? Mark: hey’re more like individuals in their house and we are more together…grouped. Sarah: Would you say the same thing Jack or would you say it is more that we are all closer to each other? Jack: Yeah Sarah: Would you have rather have been bought up in a diferent way? Jack: No and people don’t know that we talk to our mum in the bath Mark: I think not in a diferent way but maybe a diferent place. Sarah: So not in Bere Alston? Mark: Yeah I don’t really like Bere Alston Sarah: Is that cos it’s out of the way and not near where all your friends are? Jack: Yeah Mark: here’s nothing to do Jack: I’d still want all the friends I have now just in a diferent place, a bigger place.


Sarah: So when you do your degree course Jack are you going to live in student housing or do you think you’ll stay home? Jack: I don’t know, cos if I stay here, if I live by myself I can have a PS3 and play online and stuf. Err I don’t know, I’ll probably stay here. Sarah: Because then everything will be done for you? Jack: Yeah…won’t have to pay for everything, but then I’ll probably have to pay mum Sarah: Yeah food shopping, rent and stuf Mark: Not as much as it would be to live away. Jack: Yeah Sarah: What do you think teenagers are like at the moment then? Jack: hey’re getting much worse cos of technology, like Mikes brother never goes out, cos he was telling me that like he just plays his consoles on his tablets and stuf and never goes out. Basically what most kids do these days. Sarah: You know you’re doing exactly the same thing Jack: Yeah but I’m not doing it as much, I still go out. Well yeah, but like more younger people now are doing it and like more than people my age. Sarah: What do you think Mark? Mark: I think that loads of people are more social, or more trying to be socially accepted in society and less being who they want to be. And they’re all you know, the same. Do drugs and have sex at 11. Jack: And smoke as well. Sarah: Do you know why they do that? Jack: Peer pressure, to it in with people. Sarah: Do you know people like that at your school? Jack: Yeah Sarah: Are there lots of them? Mark and Jack: Yeah! Mark: Like most people, like 8 out of 10 people


Sarah: And in the future do you think teenagers are going to get worse? Mark: No I think once we bugger up I think we’ll realise that we can’t let our kids do something… Jack: I think it will get worse but then we’ll come back from it. Sarah: So do you think it would have been better if technology hadn’t advanced? Jack: I don’t know, it’s kind of… Mark: I think technology, we needed it to advance but maybe we did it too quickly. Sarah: So are you guys scared of going into the big wide world? Mark: Yeah Jack: Yeah Sarah: What are you scared of? Mark: We have to do stuf Sarah: *Laughs* so you don’t have to be lazy anymore? Mark: Yeah and um like responsibilities of not just you but like other people as well and you don’t have someone who, when you make mistakes, ix it. You have to do it yourself. Sarah: What about you Jack? Jack: I look forward to having my own house, like a family and stuf, but when I’m in college and like a bit ater that I don’t know, being sort of like mark said more independent, if I’m like living in a lat mums not gonna be here. Sarah: What about me? Mark: You don’t need us Jack: You just need a house Sarah: I’m still living at home and I’m 23 this year, do you think that’s a good thing or a bad thing? Jack: If you don’t leave in like the next year that’s pretty bad *laughs* Jack:

I don’t know where its gonna go from there.


“The photographer adopting the snapshot vernacular recognises the energy, rawness and emotion this form can communicate and employs visual devices that reference it. The ephemeral image’s energy, like that of the snapshot, comes from its incompleteness - its notational quality. And like notation, it grows by accumulation.� - Stephen Shore


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Jack, 24hours. 01 March 2014

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Jack, 24hours. 01 March 2014

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Mark, 24hours. 16 March 2014

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Mark, 24hours. 16 March 2014

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Copyright Š 2014 Sarah Packer. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced without the written permission of the author.


Jack: I’d rather kill zombies than read a book

The Boys Who Could Fly  

Photobook by Sarah Packer Sarah’s work is based on everyday situations: visions that reflect a sensation of serene contemplation, combined w...

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