On 15 May 2012, the Swedish non-profit foundation Expressions of Humankind is organizing one of those events — aday.org — that makes sense only in the Internet age. On that day, they’re asking everyone who wants to participate to pick up a camera and take digital photos of your daily life. Once you’ve uploaded them — up to 10 per person — the group will be connecting your images to others from around the world and displaying them all online for everyone to explore. Photos will also be donated to historical institutions around the world for preservation and, if selected and if the individual photographers agree, included in a book, “A Day in the World,” and in digital exhibitions. None will be used for commercial purposes.
Adding a level of interest to the project is the categorization and keywording that participants will apply to their photos. There are three main categories — Home, Work, and Connections (anything that connects us to one another) — and each main category has a number of subcategories. Finally, aday.org has pre-defined some keywords within most of the subcategories, and you can add your own keywords as well — the more specific your keywords, the more your photos can be grouped with others that have been defined similarly.
Aday.org is backed by some big names — including Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Sir Richard Branson, among a collection of scientists and former European heads of state — and was co-founded by Jeppe Wikström, a well-known Swedish photographer who initiated a similar photographic project called “A Day in the Life of Sweden” (he sounds like a Swedish version of Rick Smolan, who has coordinated a number of massive photography projects). A number of major companies have also signed on to provide financial and technical assistance, including Ericsson, Snapfish, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and more. Here’s hoping the technical infrastructure manages to hold up on May 15th, though aday.org will be accepting photos shot on that day for another few days afterwards. The uploading tool won’t be available until then, though you can sign up now to speed the process, and I’m told that early registrants will also receive ideas of what to shoot, feedback, and other information.