Photo-based Social Practice Broadsheet

This is the four-page newspaper we created to share some of the driving questions and ideas with the audience during the panel discussion on socially engaged, transdisciplinary, and expanded practices in contemporary photography at Aperture Foundation in New York as part of the Open Engagement conference in May. Click on the title … Continue reading

Magnum Foundation Symposium

  The 2017 Magnum Foundation Photography Expanded Symposium will explore collaborative approaches to creative documentary practice.   The Photography, Expanded symposium is an annual full-day event that is free and open to the public. The symposium draws practitioners and storytellers across media to be inspired by exemplary case studies of innovative … Continue reading

Thinking about
who
represents
whom,
and
for whom,
is key to
my practice.

– Helen Cammock is an artist and artist facilitator. She lectures across the UK on participatory practice and is committed to exploring and evolving the way participation opens up dialogue, and aims to ensure that diverse voices are platformed in the cultural contexts she works in.

Participatory photography – Jack of all trades, master of none?

Foreword When I wrote ‘Jack of all trades, master of none’ eight years ago I was just beginning to explore the relationship between photographers and those they picture. Participatory photography (PP) was considered rather hip at the time, partly fuelled by the success of the film ‘Born into Brothels.’ I was … Continue reading

Culture Shifts

Culture Shifts is a new socially engaged photography programme led by Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool, UK and supported by a strategic touring fund from Arts Council England. Working across a host of social housing, local authority culture and health partners and communities across the Liverpool and Merseyside city regions, we … Continue reading

PH15: the Argentine youth photography project

17 years of photography workshops in the same community: A conversation with Moira Rubio Brennan and Miriam Priotti, directors of PH15.     As participatory, collaborative and community-based photography projects proliferate, initiatives that stand the test of time stick out from the crowd.  This is not to say that projects … Continue reading

Landmark Collaborative Work by New Mexico Prisoners and Photographer in the Early Eighties

This article is reposted from Pete Brook’s website Prison Photography     I’ve heard from a couple of folk that when I started Prison Photography, they laughed at its folly. Not only had a bleeding-heart liberal thug-hugger come along to explain a world no-one cared about to no-one in particular, but … Continue reading

Diane Dammeyer Fellowship in Photographic Arts and Social Issues

The Diane Dammeyer Fellowship in Photographic Arts and Social Issues creates a space for a socially-engaged photographer to produce a compelling and dynamic body of work highlighting human rights and social issues.   Fereshteh Toosi, the 2015-16 Dammeyer Fellow, spent her year building relationships with the residents of Leland Apartments, … Continue reading

Round Table: Community Photography, Now and Then.

A round table discussion with several photographers discussing the theme of community photography from Photoworks Collaboration Issue. Topics address questions such as the definitions surrounding collaborative photography practices, an overview of several artistic traditions which have converged in contemporary community photography, and the dynamics between photographer artists and their audiences. … Continue reading

TAKING PART: Participatory Artist In Residence programme

Photofusion host four 90-day residencies for emerging participatory lens-based artists. Photofusion is a hub for photographers of all backgrounds in South London. Working in a diverse and challenging borough since 1992, Photofusion has a proud history of community engagement including work with local schools, young offenders, social housing associations and … Continue reading

“I also struggle with the term ‘participatory photography’ because it is such a broad term and there is so much bad practice. I am going to talk frankly: there is so much bad practice and so many do-good, damaging, crappy, boring projects. I feel like I can’t really speak in this conversation because we are using terms that I don’t think I understand or can define.”

 
– Eugenie Dolberg in a roundtable discussion between Ben Burbridge, Anthony Luvera, Matt Daw, Andrew Dewdney, and Noni Stacey for the Photoworks Annual Issue on Collaboration. “Round Table: Community Photography, Now and Then.” Photoworks Annual, no. 21 no. 21 (October 1, 2013): 126–49 (136).

If You Think You’re Giving Students of Color a Voice, Get Over Yourself

“The idea of “giving” students voice, especially when it refers to students of color, only serves to reify the dynamic of paternalism that renders Black and Brown students voiceless until some salvific external force gifts them with the privilege to speak.” – Jamila Lyiscott   “If You Think You’re Giving … Continue reading

Photography and Collaboration

“…thinking about photography in collaborative terms invites us to reconfigure assumptions about the photographic act in all its stages.”   Dr Daniel Palmer is a writer and Associate Professor in the Art Theory Program in the Faculty of Art, Design & Architecture at Monash University. His research and professional practice focuses … Continue reading

Some Time Between Us

Some Time Between Us is a project initiated by Emily Fitzgerald and the Hollywood Senior Center to bring together a group of 22 middle school students from Beaumont Middle School and older adults from the Hollywood Senior Center. Fitzgerald and the Hollywood Senior Center group previously worked on the project Being … Continue reading

And how must a photographer behave?

This is a snippet from an amazing conversation between Anthony Luvera and Stefanie Braun in Critical Cities Volume 2; Ideas, knowledge and agitation from emerging urbanist   SB: The photographs in this project are taken by homeless or ex-homeless people. The creation of each ‘self-portrait’ is assisted by you, but … Continue reading

“Photographers seem ever more aware of the representational responsibilities which comes with their craft, but the question of who is actually doing this representing remains just as important as who is being represented and how. In a field like documentary photography this question becomes particularly essential, if only because it’s unrealistic to expect an adequate reflection of the world in all its messy complexity, when privileged, white, western men remain so often the ones taking the photographs and defining the terms of representation, dissemination, and so many other things.” – Lewis Bush.

 
This is a great discussion between Lewis Bush and Max Houghton on Disphotic, which is a blog on visual culture written by Bush. Although the conversation is specifically about women photographers in documentary photography, the sentiment of the quote above and the full commentary about tokenism vs. equitable representation are equally applicable to role of community co-authors in co-productive photographic projects. You can read the article in full here.

Another Kind of Girl

  “No cheesy music to manipulate emotions. No images replicated a million times. Just a young curious mind producing some of the most powerful documentation of the Syrian refugee experience I’ve seen.” – Mark Strandquist   This simple, powerful film was made by Khaldiya,  a participant of the Another Kind of Girl … Continue reading

Women Of York: Shared Dining

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 This book ‘Women Of York: Shared Dining’ was made by Susan Meiselas (@s_meiselas1963) with women incarcerated at York Correctional Institution for Women. It’s a contemporary response to Judy Chicago’s famous feminist work ‘Dinner Party’ (which is permanently installed at the Brooklyn Museum). My first impressions were “This book is ugly with chintzy design, fonts in all different colours.” It was put together by the industry great Yolanda Cuomo Design, so what gives? Here’s what. Susan handed over total and collective decision-making to the women. The shape, the images, the text, the layout, the fonts, the sequencing and much more. Susan got out of the way entirely. This is their book. Susan, with others, just helped it along. It’s an amazing socially-engaged project. And I need to stop being such a snob.