This project fascinates me because it is about collaboration. Luvera did not take the photos, he invited his subjects to make the photos, after he had spent time teaching them how to.
- Project followed on from Photographs and Assisted Self-Portraits 2002 (ongoing)
- Inspired by Belfast Exposed Photography
- Explored ideas around ethics and collaborating when making documentary photography
- Regularly visited The Welcome Centre, which is a hub for people without permanent accommodation
- Helped to prepare and serve meals
- Got to know people and explained his project
- Gave people cameras so they could make photos of things that interested them
- Met with them regularly
- Taught them how to use large format camera and how to take assisted self-portraits
- Doing so blurred the boundaries between subject and photographer
- Went with participants to the areas that mattered to them
- Participant set up equipment and used remote shutter release
- After this he used sound interviews to discuss the experience and their photographs
- Self representation provides a documentary record that shows the person behind the local authority statistics that are kept about people
- A reflection of individuality
- Not necessarily a reflection of reality, as the director or artist involved in these kind of projects have an impact upon image production and representation
As someone with an interest in sociology I feel very grateful that my tutor suggested that I take a look at this project. It raises the question of how I can involve my subjects more with the creation of their photo. There is also the need to consider who has control of the image, how and where it will be displayed and the right to remove consent at a later date.
A person may agree to their photo being made use of for a project, but what should I do if they then decide that they no longer want their image to be used? Can they make use of their photo themselves? I have not used a model release form for any of the people who I photograph. I do gain verbal consent, and discuss how I will make use of the photo, but is that enough? I certainly think that I should begin to explore model release forms, and would also need to consider the wording. Does the form need to be generic or project specific? is there an opportunity to edit a basic form with a subject, so that it can be relevent to them?
Certainly food for thought, especially in relation to how I can get people more involved in the creative process as a collaborator. This really interest me.
Luvera, A; 2002 (ongoing); Photographs and Assisted Self-Portraits; Online at: http://www.luvera.com/photographs-and-assisted-self-portraits-2002-ongoing/ (accessed on 09/10/2017)
Luvera, A; 2011; Residency (2006 – 2011); Online at: http://www.luvera.com/residency/ (accessed on 09/10/2017)
Belfast Exposed Photography; Online at: http://www.belfastexposed.org/ (accessed on 09/10/2017)
The Welcome Organisation; Online at: http://www.homelessbelfast.org/ (accessed on 09/10/2017)
Seymour, Tom; 2015; Belfast Exposed – A Photography Gallery That Crossed the Sectarian Divide; UK; 1854 Media Ltd; Online at: http://www.bjp-online.com/2015/12/belfast-exposed-a-photography-gallery-that-crossed-the-sectarian-divide/ (accessed on 09/10/2017)