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Update 05.11.2014: The Eventbrite registration page has been closed after 80 sign-ups. But, there’s space for walk-ins and allcomers. We don’t want to turn anyone away!

Email info@asocialpractice.com to extend your interest. Thanks.

A BIG PUBLIC CHAT

Next Friday, May 16th, as part of the Open Engagement conference, I’ll be part of a conversation about photography based art and social practice.

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The Photo-Based Social Practice panel and group brainstorming is at the Aperture Gallery in New York, 10am – 12 noon.

Moderator Eliza Gregory along with panelists Gemma-Rose Turnbull, Mark Strandquist, Wendy Ewald and I will be discussing socially engaged, transdisciplinary, and expanded practices in contemporary photography.

Highfalutin, huh? Not really. The language is big, but the query is simple. Can photography build community and empower subjects? How can photography be nice?

It’s free, but preregistration is required. Do that HERE (6th option on the list).

We’re only going to do the briefest of introductions to our work before breaking into groups to tackle a host of questions that deal with audience, relevance and good design. It only makes sense that we collaborate to tackle answers to these issues.

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We hope that the panel will follow nicely on from December’s Collaboration: Revisiting the History of Photography event that crowdsourced a new timeline of photo-history by focusing on projects with communities and groups as creators. I love the ideas involved in that.

While the Collaboration: Revisiting the History of Photography event gave new recognition to old projects and while it presented a new timeline and framework, it didn’t tackle best practices. From the projects it unearthed we can surmise the nature of some socially responsible projects, methodologies and motivations. In our discussion next week we hope to extend the conversation further and start to define common language, and potentially best practices, for socially engaged photography projects.

Please join us and help us along!

LOCATION, DATE, TIME

Aperture Gallery and Bookstore
547 West 27th Street, New York
10:00 am – 12:00 pm, Friday, May 16th.
FREE WITH REGISTRATION

NEW VENTURE! ‘PHOTOGRAPHY AS A SOCIAL PRACTICE’

Now is a good time to mention a joint venture recently started by my fellow panelists, Eliza Gregory, Gemma-Rose Turnbull and Mark Strandquist.

Photography As A Social Practice is a website for reference tools, teaching tools, and conversation about the intersection of social practice and photography. I’ll be contributing every so often and chatting on the phone about content. You can suggest resources by emailing info[at]asocialpractice[dot]com

SPONSORS

The panel is offered in conjunction with the Magnum Foundation and the Aperture Foundation who combined to publish Documentary, Expanded, the Spring Issue (#214) of Aperture Magazine as part of the Photography, Expanded initiative. Support also comes from the Open Society Documentary Photography ProjectThe School of Journalism and Communication (University of Queensland) and Portland State University‘s Art and Social Practice Program.

OPEN ENGAGEMENT, 2014

The Photo-Based Social Practice panel is part of Open Engagement, an international conference that sets out to explore various perspectives on art and social practice, and expand the dialogue around socially engaged art-making. This year, the conference addresses the theme of Life/Work. It is 2 days of programming (Sat, May 17 – Sun, May 18) at the Queens Museum, plus 1 day of pre-conference events on Fri 16th at different locations around the New York boroughs.

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Brazil’s Polinters

This past weekend, I met several staff members from the Open Society Institute’s Documentary Photography Project. Wyatt Gallery’s Tent Life: Haiti, exhibited at Photoville, is work supported by the Documentary Photography Project.

“The photographs are testament to the strength and dignity of the Haitian community after the devastating 7.0 magnitude earthquake,” writes Amy Yenkin, director of the Documentary Photography Project

OSI also partly-funded the Magnum Foundation’s work Bruce Gilden’s No Place Like Home: Foreclosures in America and Sim Chi Yin’s Rat Tribe in an overarching initiative exploring of the idea of ‘Home.’ Photoville details here.

I’ll talk more about Photoville and those connections later, but here I want to bring your attention to OSI’s initiative that goes beyond photography specifically. OSI is running the Global Campaign for Pretrial Justice.

“Every year some 10 million people around the world spend time locked up in prison cells and detention centers while they await a court appearance. Many will end up spending months or even years behind bars without ever seeing a judge,” reports OSI.

Pretrial detention is something I’ve concerned myself with before, for example in promoting Nathalie Mohadjer’s photography.

OSI has produced two reports: “The Socioeconomic Impact of Pretrial Detention” and “Pretrial Detention and Torture: Why Pretrial Detainees Face the Greatest Risk,” both argue a reduction in excessive use of pretrial incarceration and to save costs to governments and communities.

In conjunction with the reports, OSI has produced four videos about those who’ve suffered loss of liberty or loss of family in unaccountable systems. The photos are by Ed Kashi. The audio by Rob Rosenthal. (Ed Kashi also made the bio pics for the Documentary Photography Project staff!)

I was surprised by the incredibly low Youtube viewing numbers – from as low as 60 to less than 300. I hope this is due only to the fact that the videos have been embedded on sites and have in fact been viewed many more times in the last month than just the few hundred reported on the individual Youtube pages.

OSI is also a massive (much larger) foundation than I ever knew. 400+ employees in New York and more than 2,000 worldwide. It produces campaigns at such a rate that I expect many get lost in the relentless roll out. Here, I hope I can do my bit; I encourage you to watch these dispatches.

Vinthenga’s Story

Benson’s Story

Deize & Indaiá Stories

Follow OSI’s program about pretrial justice on Twitter: @PretrialJustice

EMAIL

prisonphotography [at] gmail [dot] com

@BROOKPETE ON TWITTER

Prison Photography Archives

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