Fear can be defined in many ways – most people get fear mixed up with phobias, understandably, as there has to be a certain about of fear involved to create a phobia. The definition of phobia is:
an extreme or irrational fear of or aversion to something.“she suffered from a phobia about birds”
synonyms: abnormal fear, irrational fear, obsessive fear, fear, dread, horror, terror, dislike, hatred,loathing, detestation, distaste, aversion, antipathy, revulsion, repulsion; More
For example, I have a phobia of small places, claustrophobia and I also have a very real fear of the dark. I think fear manifests itself from experiences we have had and from stories told to us that we don’t want to happen to us personally.
Fear is a survival mechanism – you’re probably aware of the saying fight or flight mode. During the 19th-century debate surrounding evolution, the “face of fear” — that wide-eyed, gaping grimace that often accompanies sheer terror — became a talking point. Charles Darwin then went on to say the instinct of our facial muscles was an evolved reaction to ‘fear’ over the years. As humans when something is scaring us, when fear looks us right in the face, we become powerless to our expression, powerless to the imagination of fear itself.
Anticipation is another sometimes unfortunate feeling that comes hand in hand with fear, as humans we like to anticipate the worst of a situation, terrible things that might happen which could lead to adrenaline and being excited to be scared, to be a thrill seeker.
Being fearful and having a fear isn’t always bad, as mentioned above and personally I love horror films – it’s my favourite genre of movie and I love being scared, but in a sense it’s not a real scare it’s a safety bubble scare, a scare that I’m in my room with friends in bed wrapped up in a duvet scare, jump scares if you will. There’s a sense of security amongst the initial scare, what plays on most people and myself included is the aftermath, the mental state we are left in after experiencing something fearful, something terrifying. However, a study back in 2010 by Thomas Straube at the Friedrich Schiller University of Jena “show that scary movies don’t actually activate fear responses in the amygdala at all. Instead, it was other parts of the brain that were firing – the visual cortex – the part of the brain responsible for processing visual information, the insular cortex- self awareness, the thalamus -the relay switch between brain hemispheres, and the dorsal-medial prefrontal cortex – the part of the brain associated with planning, attention, and problem solving.” It’s as if we see fear as a problem that needs to be solved, to not be scared anymore.
When thinking about my own fears I have always had a fear of the unknown, uncertainty not knowing who or what lies around the corner at night in a dark alley or not know where I’ll be in a year or whether I will succeed or not. This fear is a constant reminder to push myself to face the unknown and to push myself to work harder do not let the fear become a reality.
For my second creative artefact I wanted to concentrate on Xenophobia. Xenophobia is the irrational sensation of fear experienced about a person or a group of persons as well as situations that are perceived as strange or foreign. It is the fear of anything that is beyond one’s comfort zone. (not to be confused with the dislike of or prejudice against people from other countries.) as it’s a personal one of mine the fear of not knowing what is around the corner of a dark alley, or not know peoples intentions, or the fear of not knowing where to go, be lost and the fear of the dark all emulate into my fear of ‘unknown’. For example, I may be able to see that there is a lake in front of me but if I can’t see the bottom of it it brings forth a wave of huge uncertainty and anxiety that physically frightens me. As mentioned before, my xenophobia is not one against foreigners or different ethnicity’s and I feel this is crucial to clarify with the headlines at the moment of mass immigration and globalisation. However, my fear can also be pinned on the fact I don’t feel comfortable with strangers or people I deem as strangers, but anyone could say that. Using the medium of photography I’ve selected 6 photos to depict Xenophobia (Unknown) in the various forms it comes in.
“How Fear Works”. HowStuffWorks. N.p., 2016. Web. 9 Nov. 2016.
Phobias, Top et al. “Fear Of The Unknown Phobia – Xenophobia”. FearOf.net. N.p., 2016. Web. 9 Nov. 2016.
“The Psychology Of Scary Movies | Filmmakeriq.Com”. Filmmakeriq.com. N.p., 2016. Web. 9 Nov. 2016.