Had the first proper 1-1 with Wendy on the FMP, around the Pecha Kucha.
I think it’s fair to say Wendy really liked the presentation and its clarity. ‘Unfinished Stories’ was also appreciated as the title. We talked about my inspirations, including Susan Meiselas, in the context of this being a rather long term project, with a strong educational component.
In discussion, we agreed that working through the Installation should be the focus of the FMP. There are so many possible threads, and lots of material. We talked little about Bath Royal Literary & Scientific Institute as the ‘perfect’ venue, and I will lock down the booking. BRLSI has the possibility for hanging, projection, and display. The timing is from December 4th, about two weeks before the end of FMP, so with a little planning it is workable with the FMP requirements.
The book, whilst important to this, is somewhere on it’s own track, and doesn’t need to be a formal part of the FMP. Although if we can get that to be part of a final installation, that would be great.
By coincidence, Wendy had been at Metro Imaging recently, and they had some interesting ‘stick on wall’ products, and she could envisage some large infrared done that way.
I need to start working on the proposal, and starting to explore exactly what needs to be included. I’ll also visit the venue to get a better idea of possibilities.
Exciting, and a really good start!
Subsequently, from Paul Clements:
A great presentation..
The Ethical Side of Photography … that is interesting, because I am not sure who would be the one to set the perimeters. Sontag having a go at Arbus really pissed me off! Yes, dangerous ground to cover, but I always like a bit of that! Paul Lowe at LCC would be a good contact for an opinion on this. His book Understanding Photojournalism has a good chapter on the subject. You should certainly pursue.
Also, with book design, for your project, I imagine you have already looked at Mediations by Susan Meiselas? That is such a well designed book … although my favourite of hers is Carnival Strippers with the CD of interviews included.
l like the fact that your interviews are including members of the Khmer Rouge, to include more context to your work, because l just want to scratch the surface more. We need to learn lessons from this so that you and your work can contribute to stopping this kind of thing happening. I would like to see more context of why the genocide happened … especially with the involvement of the US (and Kissinger especially). Otherwise we just end up feeling pity, which is a thing I am sure the Cambodian people do not want.
So, I would also like to see the Photojournalist’ come out of his shell and ask tougher questions of why this happened, and how we can stop horrific things like this happening again. You seem to be walking around on eggshells at the moment.
I know you have very deep friendships with those there, and I am not saying that your work should be totally like The Disasters of War by Francisco Goya or The Graves by Gilles Peress. But a little more of that brought into your work would help … otherwise we end up in a situation with an ‘Elephant in the Room’?
Great work Mick, you must be so proud
Thanks for looking at it Paul, and for the encouragement. The book will most definitely have a history, journalist historian style … here’s something I wrote ages ago Cambodian Tragedy. And the show needs to include that background as it’s most definitely education, Meiselas/Kurdistan style – I have Nicaragua, Kurdistan and Mediations.
I will check out the other ideas – thanks.
I think if there are eggshells it is to be sure I do right by my Cambodian Friends. There is still much violence and corruption in the country and I step around that for their sake, not mine. Not sure that ‘proud’ is the right word for how I feel though.
Oh, and I think Sontag was more a problem than a solution to anything
MEISELAS, Susan. 1981. Nicaragua: June 1978 – July 1979. 2nd Edition, 2016. New York: Aperture.
MEISELAS, Susan. 1997. Kurdistan: In the Shadow of History. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
MEISELAS, Susan. 2018. Mediations. Bologna: Damiani.