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Informing Contexts (PHO720) - Photographic Fictions

The intent of my work is to enthuse young people into photography using the historic methods. To gain enough enthusiasm from young people, I need to be able to communicate in a plain and simple language that they can understand. By maintaining plain English, they understand what I’m doing, and what I would like from them with no ambiguities. I show them the cameras and allow them to be “hands on” to raise their curiosity and excitement.

In relation to fictional / constructed realities of my practice, I cannot identify any at this moment in time. I allow the young people to take their own photographs while encouraging them to be as honest as the like, to use the camera to tell their stories and use it as their voice. Secondary to this, I or someone with the young person takes photos of the participant using the camera and developing their negatives.

Wendy Ewald approached schools in areas where there weren’t many opportunities for the children to experience the arts. The children who took part in Ewald’s classes photographed their dreams and so to some degree, there is an element of constructed reality. This is something I’d like to mimic by asking the participants to photography as best they can, what they dream about.

Sirkhane Darkroom provides children with film cameras in Southern Turkey. These children are refugees of the conflicts in Syria and Iraq. They’re able to express themselves through pictures and all that Sirkhane Darkroom does is to guide them on techniques. They allow the children to show us what they want to.

I’ve been running test on two groups of participants. The first group were given free reign to photograph what they wanted while the second group were given a brief to consider. The results showed that first group photographed what was important and had meaning to them and were very enthusiastic to have another go at using the cameras. The second group however show less interest with three participants not completing the brief.

I believe that my practice is developing exponentially. I never used to be able to order my thoughts and ideas. I now add thoughts and ideas to a Miro board to keep track of them and it allows me to make connections between ideas and organise them better. I’ve since been able to articulate my intentions better as a result.

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