/09 Adolescence

Ben Handzo

Youth Protection

By photographing Boy Scouts I explored my own experience of uncoolness. I was pretty uncool as a teenager, but Boy Scouting was the least cool thing I did. My own experiences gave me a sense of reverence toward the boys and I strove to be sympathetic to their awkwardness. For me these are sentimental images. Not nostalgic, but tender and sweet. Because these are Boy Scouts, with all of the associated bravado and ‘50’s era masculinity, I could contemplate their sweetness without fear of lapsing into kitsch. My sentimentality was couched in a belief that the tenderness shown would only last as long as the moment it took to record it.