The State of Photography will consider, explore, debate and review how photographers and photography practice develops and responds in this political moment. How do we look at our world today, how do we collaborate and work with communities and what does the world look like to photographers?
GRAIN invites acclaimed and outstanding photographers, artists, writers and curators who work collaboratively and in the fields of community photography and socially engaged photography to join them, to give important historical context, to debate contemporary approaches and to talk about their practice at this time of political uncertainty, international crisis and creeping right-wing ideologies. Each has different approaches to making their work, to engaging with individuals and communities and to telling stories. They have been artist, storyteller, observer, collaborator, explorer and researcher.
Some collaborate closely with community members, marginalised groups and those with little or no opportunity to speak out, others offer a more external perspectives on social issues and situations. Does one offer a better more ethical way? Is it important to come from a community or do you become too involved? Is objectivity important? How do we ensure the engagement is sincere and does not exploit? And where does the artist and author feature in the work?
The role of photography is changing, particularly as work is commissioned and made for exhibition and gallery settings. Photography can impart the greatest truth of our times and sheds light on injustices, inequality and other aspects of our society. It has been and remains one of the strongest vehicles for change as photographers explore polities, gender, society, sexuality, diversity, economics and environment. It seems today – a time of political unrest, flux and crisis – more essential than ever to explore the role that photography can play.
During the Symposium, there will be views from the perspective of the photographer, curator and academic. They share concerns about the present and offer a diverse range of practices, experiences and stories that document the state of humanity and the world today.
The State of Photography Symposium aims to present new bodies of work, question and challenge ideas, as well as offering advice and talking about positive approaches to influence change, provoke, prompt and give a voice. Those that create self-initiated projects and commissioned bodies of work will be heard, with a range of photographic practices that are at the cutting edge of photography now being discussed.
- Daniel Meadows
- Anthony Luvera
- Julian Germain
- Clementine Schneidermann
- John Hillman
- Liz Wewiora
- Anand Chhabra