This website was founded by Eliza Gregory, Mark Strandquist, and Gemma-Rose Turnbull (who is the current moderator). 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 is an artist and educator. Trained as a fine art photographer, a writer and a social practice artist, Eliza mixes media ranging from images to text to relationships. Her work examines community connections, cultural identity, relationships across class, and families. In spring 2016 she was the lead artist for the Community Arts Internship Program at Southern Exposure, and conducted a project with Downtown Continuation High School and SFMOMA’s education department. In spring 2017 she was an Anacapa Fellow at the Thacher School where she collaborated with students on a book about citrus ranching in the Ojai Valley. She is currently working with the Asian Art Museum to create a project about contemporary immigration in San Francisco. She graduated from Princeton University in 2003 and did her MFA in Art & Social Practice at Portland State University.
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, Senior Lecturer in photography at Coventry University, and the joint Course Director of the MA Photography and Collaboration with Anthony Luvera, which is due to launch in January 2018. Gemma’s research interests lie with the ways in which photographers integrate innovative 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. She has collaborated with street-based sex workers, elderly people who have suffered from abuse, and children. She is a PhD candidate at the University of Queensland, was a Scholar in Residence in the Art and Social Practice MFA program at Portland State University 2013-2014, the inaugural writer in residence at Carville Annex Press in 2015, and one of the Taking Part residents at Photofusion in Brixton, London in 2017.
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.
Zora J Murff is an MFA candidate at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln and holds a BS in Psychology from Iowa State University. Combining his education in human services and art, Zora’s photography explores how images are used to shape and reinforce sociocultural constructs. His work has been featured online including the British Journal of Photography, and has been published in VICE Magazine and GOOD Magazine amongst others. Zora was named a LensCulture 2015 Top 50 Emerging Talent and received a Joy of Giving Something Fellowship through Imagining America in 2016. His work is included in collections at the Peter Kiewit Foundation and the Midwest Photographers Project through the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago. Zora published his first monograph, Corrections, through Aint-Bad Editions in the Winter of 2015.
Anthony Luvera is an Australian artist, writer and educator based in London. His work has been exhibited widely in galleries, public spaces and festivals, including the British Museum, London Underground’s Art on the Underground, National Portrait Gallery London, Belfast Exposed Photography, Australian Centre for Photography, PhotoIreland, Malmö Fotobiennal, Goa International Photography Festival, and Les Rencontres D’Arles Photographie. His writing appears regularly in a wide range of publications including Photoworks, Source and Photographies. Anthony is Principal Lecturer and the joint Course Director of MA Photography and Collaboration at Coventry University. He also designs education and mentorship programmes, facilitates workshops, and gives lectures for the public education departments of the National Portrait Gallery, Royal Academy of Arts, The Photographers’ Gallery, Photofusion, Barbican Art Gallery, and community photography projects across the UK.
D. Wiafe is a London based artist and educator. Wiafe centres his work on the readings that unfold when the public is called to witness the spectacle of British Youth. Concerned with what is lost in the translation of such images and the nuances that go unnoticed, his collaborative projects look for stories written in the imagination of adolescents themselves.