(Un)Making Images Together: Photography and Collaboration

Anthony Luvera, Vincen Beeckman

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


    Making photographs has always been a collaborative act. A myriad of creative decisions, social interactions, divisions of labour, and many other forms of contribution are usually buried in service to the photographer’s ‘unique vision’. But what takes place when these processes of collaboration, co-production or social encounter are positioned as an integral part of the work presented to an audience? When the ‘subjects’ are recast as ‘participants’ taking part in a socially-engaged, community, collaborative, or participatory photography practice?

    (Un)Making Images Together brought together a community to explore some of the practical, theoretical, methodological, and ethical issues that can arise when working in this way. The workshop experimented with ways of engaging individuals, groups of people, and communities, as active participants in the process of creating work about their lives, experiences, and points of view about the world around them. There was a strong focus on the dynamic between the photographer and subject. To view this relationship as a scale of interaction marked by degrees of collaboration, ranging from fleeting and short-term interactions, sustained strategies of facilitation, co-production and pedagogy, through to longer-term relationships and collective action. Who stands to benefit from collaboration? Who determines the parameters of an invitation to participate? Whose needs, intentions or ambitions can be fulfilled, and to what ends?

    Collectively we created work in collaboration with the local community of Zaļenieki, finding ways to chart our process of working alongside one another, and the questions, observations and experiences we exchanged throughout the workshop. Themes of authorship, agency, consent, and representation were considered. Strategies of dialogue, play, chance, and failure were explored and discussed to expand understanding of the implications of photography and collaboration, and to experiment with new ways of working.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 12 Jul 2019
    EventInternational Summer School of Photography 2019: Photography and the World - Zaļenieki Manor, Jelgava, Latvia
    Duration: 12 Jul 201920 Jul 2019
    Conference number: 13


    OtherInternational Summer School of Photography 2019
    Internet address


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