This website was founded by Eliza Gregory, Mark Strandquist and Gemma-Rose Turnbull (who is acting as the current editor). It serves as an archive of research and conversations around photography as a social practice. We tag projects, articles, books and other media that relate to the conversations and issues that surround this kind of work. We conduct interviews with practitioners, and we write about our own experiences navigating contemporary photography with an eye to ethics, representation, power dynamics and social justice. Please feel free to send us leads, links, suggestions and ideas.
Eliza Gregory illuminates diverse experiences in a given community. Her work brings out unexpected commonalities across difference, disconnectedness and marginalization. She uses images, relationships, experiences, interviews, events and many other media in her projects.
Mark Strandquist is an artist, educator, and organizer. His projects facilitate interactions that incorporate viewers as direct participants and present alternative models for the civic and artistic ways in which we engage the world around us. While photography is often used, it is the social aesthetics of each project that become the focal point; the process through which the images are created, and the social interactions that each exhibition produces. In 2013-14 he was awarded the Society for Photographic Educators’ Image Maker Award, a Photowings/Ashoka U Changemaker Award, and a VMFA professional fellowship.
Gemma-Rose Turnbull is an Australian artist, writer and Senior Lecturer in photography at Coventry University. Gemma instigates collaborative photographic projects which examine ways in which the integration of co-productive methodologies can catalyse social change agendas and policies through image making and sharing. She has collaborated with street-based sex workers, elderly people who have suffered from abuse, and children. Gemma’s research interests lie with the ways in which photographers integrate co-productive methodologies into their practice––particularly when authorship structures are revised so people who may have previously been ‘subjects’ of documentary texts become co-creators.
Pete Brook is a freelance writer and curator. Pete likes images in general, but prison images specifically—he thinks they may have instructional value. Pete is confused why caring about prisons is seen as radical. Being concerned about millions of men, women and children who are locked up for unjustifiably long sentences seems quite reasonable to him.
Mark Menjivar is an artist and photographer based in San Antonio, TX. His work explores diverse subjects through photography, stories and found objects while emphasizing dialogue and collaboration.
Tiffany Fairey is a visual sociologist, practitioner and currently a Research Fellow at University of the Arts, London. Co-founder of PhotoVoice (and its co-director from 1999-2009) she has worked on participatory and community photography initiatives with groups in the UK and all over the world, some that last a matter of days and others that have run over 10 years. She researches and writes about participatory, collaborative and community photography practice exploring its purpose, ethics, politics and impact. Currently, her research focuses on the role of the arts in reconciliation processes. Her work has been recognised with a number of awards including the Royal Photographic Society’s Hood Medal for outstanding advance in photography for public service.
Robert Godden is a human rights campaigns and communication expert who specialises in the use of visual media for positive social change. He is the co-founder and Director of Campaigns and Communications at Rights Exposure, an international human rights consultancy. He was with Amnesty International for 15 years, from 2004-2014 as the Asia-Pacific Campaign Coordinator based in London, Kathmandu, and Hong Kong. Robert is regularly invited to speak on the role of the image in social justice campaigns, including at The Chinese University of Hong Kong, The University of Hong Kong, Magnum Foundation, Photo Kathmandu, SCAD, and World Press Photo Awards Days. He holds an MA in South Asian Area Studies from SOAS, University of London, and is an alumnus of the New York University Tisch School of the Arts/Magnum Foundation Photography & Human Rights programme.
Liz Wewiora is a photographer and curator based between Manchester, Liverpool and Glasgow, UK. Since graduating in Fine Art Photography at Glasgow School of Art, Liz has worked across curating and engagement for organisations including CCA (Glasgow), Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art (Manchester), Glasgow Sculpture Studios (Glasgow), FACT (Liverpool) and is currently the Creative producer at Open Eye Gallery (Liverpool), leading a regional wide socially engaged photography programme called Culture Shifts. Liz also works independently as a photographer and curator. She is currently undertaking a practice based Masters by Research in how the social engagement process is evidenced within photography without undermining the value of the final visual outcome.