Marcus Journey was born and raised near Kansas City, Missouri. Using video and photography, he investigates cultures living on the margins of society. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Brigham Young University Idaho in 2013 and is currently pursuing a Master of Fine Arts in Photography at Louisiana Tech University. Marcus currently lives in Shreveport, Louisiana with his wife Heidi and dog Hank.
After graduating from Brigham Young University – Idaho, I followed my wife to Shreveport, Louisiana as she pursued her masters degree in occupational therapy. I felt out of place as I was adjusting to a new environment until I crossed paths with Mormon missionaries living in my apartment complex. Seeing them struggle with the same issues of displacement but to a greater degree, I asked them to photograph their surroundings using a point-and-shoot camera, to expose the realities these young men experience as they try to live up to the expectations placed upon them by their families and the Church.
My work asks, what do these young men gain from serving a two year mission? Are they learning problem solving skills and the means to adapt to their surroundings beyond an insular society and how does a mission benefit these young men other than being groomed for a life long commitment to the Church?
This collection of photographs, reveals the transitory conditions in which missionaries live as they embed themselves in a place for six weeks to six months, then are transferred by the Church to a new city just as they are becoming familiar with the area and its people. The process of getting to know strangers and one another repeats as the Elders move elsewhere and a new group takes their place in the neighborhood, as well as in my series.
To view more of Marcus’ work please visit his website.