In this lecture I heard the way in which Wasma Mansour and Dahlia Khamissey both work. Here I tweeted the points I thought stood out to me and collected these thoughts on the subjects through twitter.
After listened to Brian Palmer where I noted there points.
Journalist since 1987 for New York paper – staff photographer
Military, capital house, white house.
Left photography went into corporate media – finance, business, and foreign minister
After 9/11 ended up decided to go independent in video, photography – multimedia film maker
Stories are people based stories – people finding way for economic freedom
Media focused on communism. He focused on the people.
People building new china
Boots on the ground reporter
Asked how the policy affected them?
Tried to do as much as could him self but was too ambitious so had to work with others
Begin to associate with people you are covering
2002 – went back into photography. Didn’t want to be in front of the camera
digital meant was out of photography – had to fight his way back
demand for specific type of news
had to make a decision where wanted to go and what wanted to do. – funds decided
thought he was progressive and was left to politics of George bush. Was questioned so saved and went with America
sold almost nothing as wasn’t doing sort of thing as time or new york magazine wanted – low point
bring the good guys to the bad guys
went to shooting more video. Got more work but money wasn’t coming in
when you sell your footage you sell your rights – yeah you had a seat at a table with no say in the matter
decided not sign but got his own footage. Captured footage of peoples lives but was his own honest footage and he had a right
he wouldn’t sell his independence
useful photography – connect it to kinetic photography
take pictures that are useful – challenge people
looked at places like pixel press where they got the work to smaller audience but shown as he wrote it. Useful – affects the people in the pictures. Make the subject more than a subject
big issue – was community organizing
establish how worked and if they had any objections with how he worked
old school journalists saw it as he was compromising himself – in house photographers
DO YOUR RESEARCH!
The ones who get somewhere are the ones who don’t sit and wait but instead go and ask if they can do the project at that location
SHOWING UP IS THE KEY
WORK YOUR WAY THROUGH ORGANISATIONS, MEETINGS, LEAVING THE CAMERAS IN THE BAG, GETTING PEOPLES CONTACT AND METING PEOPLE OUTSIIDE THE SUBJECT
Self interest and interest in the subject has a difference.
Self-interest can drive you
Opened up a curiosity and past that didn’t have
Found a photograph – amateur photographer
Couldn’t trace things
Needed to figure out where the places were – what are they now?
Made most projects by going to the community and talking to people without having the camera
The story has to develop organically
He has connections now but they are still distant connections
People are showing parts of their lives – respect them
Want to write people and the community back into history
Went from being property to owning property to having property taken away by a law that didn’t enslave them
HAVE SUBSTANTIAL INSTITUTIONAL COMMITMENT
MYSTERIOUS. DARK , BASED ON WORKMEN DOING THEIR JOB THROUGH THE NIGHT, REPETITION TO GIVE A CLOSER VIEW
2 SCENES – A PORTRAIT AND A SCENE REMINISCENT OF A WAR
SHOWING 2 LIVES LED BY THE SAME PERSON
WAR SCENE AND CONSTRUCTION SCENE
SPEAK ABOUT THE WAY THE PEOPLE FEEL ABOUT WHAT THEY HAD TO DEAL WITH EMOTIONALLY
BEFORE AND AFTER SCENE
LEARN AT THE END IT’S A MINING FORCE
These are my key points…
- Text adds information
- The story comes first, the photography comes later – Mansour
- The best photographs to take are the ones in your backyard
- Pass on the knowledge to the youth, who’ll pass it onto their community
RICHIN: Believes that your pictures aren’t good enough if you’re not close enough, which enforces the idea mentioned of the best photographs, are the ones on your doorstep.
MAYES/HETHERINGTON: Believes context is key so agrees with text adds information. Also feels that context is to pass on information like Campbell.
CAMPBELL: Although meant in a different sense of being an event doesn’t happen unless you document it. Both Campbell and Mansour consider the route the story takes of which comes first.
RODGER: Didn’t deal with his emotions when it came to his work, happenings affected him but he detached himself from it through writing in a diary each day.
From hearing these two talks I felt that between them they pretty much summarized the previous talks I had heard. This was through the fact that both Richin and Mansour believe that you have to be in the action to capture it but in Mansour’s case she feels your best images are the ones you know about and can relate to personally.
Mansour’s talk also relates to what Campbell said about an event is what is documented not what happens but they differ on the fact that Mansour sees it as the story is what creates the photography not the photography creating the story as the story wouldn’t happen if the “event” didn’t happen.
While Khamisser’s talk she echo’s Mayes/Hetherington’s point on the context is important as she feels that text adds information to the picture. She also feels that imagery helps pass on the knowledge to the children and community as if in Richin’s words a photograph is a quote… a sort of quote of the time that something happened but being retold as a story.
Both photographers’ work though is based on the background they can relate to and have in-depth knowledge in, mainly through personal experience. Which is interesting as they base their work on what they feel, and especially when it came to war while Rodger work is more closely linked to Khamisser, he came as an outsider into the war while Khamisser was caught in the war yet Rodger found it harder to express his feelings to the horror than what Khamisser’s work does.
This lecture I found to be interesting to hear but at the same time I was not able to relate to it so much as I hadn’t experienced what it was they were talking about but out of all of it there was one point that stood out to me “the best photographs to take are the ones in your backyard” something that is interesting to hear as like everyone else, I tend to become desensitized to what I see as I see it all the time so don’t think about it much. This was a point in which I was able to relate to when also hearing
The point also reminds me of Mark Power’s talk about travelling the world documenting areas yet the most interesting ones to him was the ones closer to home. However, from that talk I realised I need to pay attention to my surroundings more for what I captured. However, here although emphasizing the same point Khamisser puts the point across as pay more attention of what you see from actions, happenings that will create history and peoples behavior rather than features that are part of the landscape.