In today’s society it’s rare that someone is just from a particular city, country or even continent. The world is all the better for it too, merging cultural experiences in square miles rather than across oceans. In its third visual trend analysis this year, the Adobe Stock team believe, as a reflection of this, the concept of ‘multilocalism’ will be the next visual trend for creatives.
Adobe Stock have spotted this trend from factors which have developed in multiple ways, but most personally through how individuals identify themselves. In Taiye Selasi’s TED talk titled Don’t Ask Me Where I’m From, Ask Me Where I’m Local, the British-American writer points out that “my experience is where I’m from,” rather than a particular place. Graphic designer Astrid Stavro similarly identifies her home as a hybrid, explaining that “For me, home is really nowhere,” having lived in Madrid, Boston, the Netherlands, London, and Barcelona and identifying most with the city of Trieste, a hybrid itself influenced by Austria, Rome and nearby Slovenia.
Local organisations in towns and cities also endeavour to champion the diverse and historic cultural background of a place. For example, the Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute in New York, which “preserves and presents African Diaspora cultures; trains the next generation of cultural leads; and unites Diaspora communities.” As part of its work utilising arts and culture as tools for community-building, and social justice, the institute has developed Mi Querida Barrio (My Beloved Community), an augmented reality app. As users follow the app’s route they’re introduced to lost art and landmarks of its multilocal community, displaced by gentrification.
This want to discover and not settle for what’s on the surface of a location relates to travelling too. At the end of 2017, Lonely Planet noticed this, publishing The Place To Be, a publication that doesn’t plan a holiday by its destination but by mood, allowing readers to pick and choose an itinerary dependent on how they feel.
This growing trend is an element Adobe Stock contributor Andy Smith also noticed as “people’s desire to escape the tech-driven world has increased,” he explains. “I think we’ll continue to see visual trends that move away from owning material objects and we’ll see more and more tactile images of making, doing, experiencing and feeling.”
As a result of this growing visual trend, Andy began creating a series of photographs documenting everyday life in London, featuring a diverse group of small business owners from around the city on the streets they call their own. “Photographers are generally curious and observant by nature,” he continues, “so we’re all ‘experts’ in our own local areas and can show what it’s like to live where we live at this point in time.” Shooting portraiture images in a documentary style, Andy’s photographs depict the many layers that make up a multilocal city.
As brands, designers and individuals increasingly scout for imagery authentically reflecting multifaceted culture, Adobe Stock’s series of mulitlocalism answers a desire for globally-aware and authentic images. Andy agrees too: “A stock collection is the perfect vehicle because contributors are familiar with their own localities, yet widely spread around the world.”
Further examples of multilocalism through imagery can be found in Adobe Stock’s dedicated library here, with further updates throughout June talking to artists who capture authentic and multifaceted local places.
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