FMP Proposal feedback from Wendy

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Had a good conversation with Wendy of my proposal for FMP. Feedback was good, and I think the proposal (and project) was well received. Wendy considered it well written, critically referenced and thorough. The job now is to experiment and seek inspiration for novel ways to drive that elusive thing, impact. Of course, within that is the question of audience, and I’ll need to do some more thinking on that, at least for the UK show.

As in previous conversations, Wendy cautioned that my overall, longstanding project is very ambitious and not everything needs to be ‘in’ the FMP. With that in mind, whilst the book is important (snd she noted my feelings of moral obligation in that regard), I can probably reference it in the final FMP Critical review via an Issue link..

Wendy is keen that I explore different ways of getting the story out, both at the BRLSI installation itself and via other channels. We talked about using video, sound recordings (some of which I have), social media and so forth. I am hopeful that if Sarath can get to the UK, we can also engage the local press and radio. Wendy suggested perhaps Anna would have some thoughts on the social media and podcast side. We did agree that setting up a brand new website (I own unfinished would be better after the FMP so that I can see how things evolve and audiences respond.

Stepping back, we talked  lot about ‘social engagement’, both of us rather bemused by the attempts of some photographers to be ‘socially engaged”. Whilst it is an important and worthwhile photographic theme today (and Wendy volunteered that if she was starting photography today, she would be interested), it is also a rather over-used term. I have previously noted that, for me, unless something actually changes as the result of such work, I would consider it unsuccessful.

From that perspective, having an installation which people find ‘interesting photographically’ but which does not leave them with new ideas, or wanting to know more, might be a good FMP project but would be unsatisfying.

Since the beginning of our Cambodia work, it has always been ‘collaborative’ and ‘socially engaged’, even if we did not use those now-trendy words. Wendy is keen that I look write about my FMP work with that lens, which naturally sits with my broader concerns and interests in the ethical arena. It is possible that Anthony Luvera is doing work on photographic ethics, so I may get in touch with him.

Wendy suggested a few photographers to look at, some i knew and some I didn’t. In no particular order:

Dana Lixenberg – ‘Imperial Courts‘ (how that work evolved and Lixenbourg became more aware of the social engagement aspect, and the use of social media)

Rosie Martin – ‘Poly Snappers

Gillian Waring – ‘Signs‘ (ethics …)

Nigel Sharman – ‘The People on the Street’ (social engagement …)

Marysa Dowling – work on gesture

A good conversation.

Header: Available at (accessed 17/07/2019).

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