Mythos / by Jesse Campbell

Culture makes people understand each other better. And if they understand each other better in their soul, it is easier to overcome the economic and political barriers. But first they have to understand that their neighbour is, in the end, just like them, with the same problems, the same questions.
— Paulo Coelho

Our culture influences our personal attributes, including our choices, aspirations, and values. Though each cultural group is fundamentally connected through similar experiences related to  triumphs and tragedies, our traditional customs foster creativity in solutions, ideas or unique perceptual and cognitive perspectives.

As a student majoring in psychology, I believe that recognizing a culture’s mythos and appreciating symbolic meanings found within traditional teachings is fundamental for understanding human interaction or deconstructing cultural barriers. With this photographic series, I wanted to incorporate my research on mythology and traditional stories into a series that illuminates the cultural diversity of San Jose State University.

To symbolically meld together traditional culture and modernity, I imitated the characteristics of painterly portraiture with the use of modern studio lighting techniques. The product of this idea is a representation of diversity. This series is comprised of portraits of SJSU students who each represent a significant mythological or folklore character from their ancestry. During my last semesters as an undergraduate student, I hope to continue to explore the diversity within the student and faculty body of San Jose State University.

  ATAEGINA, THE GODDESS OF SPRING, PORTUGUESE MYTHOS

ATAEGINA, THE GODDESS OF SPRING, PORTUGUESE MYTHOS

  FLORA, THE GODDESS OF FLOWERS,   ITALIAN MYTHOS

FLORA, THE GODDESS OF FLOWERS, ITALIAN MYTHOS

  AGNI, THE GOD OF FIRE,   INDIAN MYTHOS

AGNI, THE GOD OF FIRE, INDIAN MYTHOS

  La Adelita, A Feminist symbol of the mxican revolution, mexican folklore

La Adelita, A Feminist symbol of the mxican revolution, mexican folklore

  MORENA, THE GODDESS OF WINTER AND DEATH,   RUSSIAN MYTHOS

MORENA, THE GODDESS OF WINTER AND DEATH, RUSSIAN MYTHOS

  Chandra, THE GOD OF the moon, Nepali   MYTHOS

Chandra, THE GOD OF the moon, Nepali MYTHOS