Thursday, 11 May 2006


I stumbled upon this interesting blog today, called PostSecret. It is an online community arts project, displaying ordinary people's secrets as submitted on homemade postcards.

Reading through a few of the postcards, you come across real life stories hidden behind a few words and maybe a picture. Political statements, worries, humour, melancholy, even personal tragedies or stories of happiness - it's all there.

A lot of the postcards are also very creatively crafted. I like the handmade finish and quality of the visuals, even though some of the cards are obviously made on a computer. Some submitters also seem to have put a lot of effort into using symbolics in the combination of pictures and words, as part of their message to the world. This makes it an enjoyable visual journey.

What fascinates me the most, are those obscure thoughts that sometimes pop up in your mind, that you would never say out loud. Like this one:
I hope there's another 9/11-type accident here in Manhattan
Because then real estate prices will drop
And then I could finally afford to buy an apartment.

I realize this is a horrible thought and I'm going to hell for it.
Yes, it is a horrible thought, but I bet most of you at some point have thought horrible thoughts when frustration gets the upper hand. Not that you would ever carry them out, or truly wish for them. You just hide them inside yourself.

If you look at it in a bigger perspective, this is also very important documentation of todays society. What do people care about, what problems do they face in life, what goes on in the mind of a contemporary citizen of the world?

The blog seems to serve many different functions, as people mail in responses to the postcards, with advice, encouragement, or just to declare their sympathy. Some people even seem to find therapy in the secrets they read:
Dear Frank:

Everytime I visit, I find a secret I never even knew I had. I'm getting to know myself a lot better.

I guess the best conclusion you can draw from this project, is that people are very much alike, disregarding physical attributes or cultural differences. When you strip them down to their best hidden, sometimes embarassing secrets, you find common denominators. They care about the same things, and share the same worries.

So if you've got a few moments to spare, head on over to PostSecret and read a few postcards. Maybe you'll find something you can relate to. It can be quite nice to discover you're not the only thinking the way you do.

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