In class we had some group tutorials in which we got the chance to see what everyone else’s projects were about and how they were going, as well as suggestions to help people keep the project moving forward.
In my migration tutorial, I presented what my topic is – which is looking at some of my parents family friends and their migration to France and their work and the impact of Brexit etc on their lifestyle. The project I think is going to be mostly participatory now after talking to the group because I am not taking any images myself and am currently using only images that are being sent to me from the couple in France. I am hoping it will be participatory in the way that I can get them to contribute ideas to the project and work on the way in which it looks and all the other details I may want to include, as well as their active engagement with the photography and archival side of the project.
I have received a few images so far, which I showed to the group. Some of the images we think are good and would be nice to include, but a good point that was brought up was the fact that a lot of the photography is quite pinpointed to certain parts or milestones of their lives. It was suggested it could be nice to look at the more menial or banal aspects of life on a day to day basis because this is of course what makes up most of their life in France, and of course it wouldn’t be boring because it is their life story and it entwines with their migration and reasons for moving. It would be good to set a sort of mini project where each of them can take it in turns to photograph each other in situations such as cooking or washing or changing bedding etc but so we get a full view of the room as well as this gives us a bit more idea of context and I think would actually be quite a nice addition to the story we have already got coming through from the word document they sent me. It would also be nice to have images of them outside their house and to contrast this more with the life they have back in the UK so we can see the transition from one location to another.
I also am aware they have a guestbook for their Gite which would be great to include, however it could be a problem if there are addresses and contact details in here as this wouldn’t be able to be placed in the public sphere, but it would be a nice thing to have.
So far the main thing I need to do is speak to my contacts and set up a mini project for them to do and then also see if I can set up a skype meeting for a brainstorming session or even if they would prefer just brainstorming over email. But I think this will be a beneficial step in the right direction for me because I was feeling a little like the work wasn’t coming together because I wasn’t in control of the imagery. However it was explained that because it is participatory not collaborative, it will feel a bit like this, but the contribution will be more from the contacts that can help me to get to where I want to be with the project, so although it feels like I am not doing much, really I am beginning to steer head a direction for the work.
I found the tutorial really helpful because it has made me feel more confident about where the work is going and what I can do to keep it moving in the right direction as well as answered my worries about not feeling like I was doing as much as other people or what I was doing wasn’t necessarily as good because I wasn’t so in control of the images or certain workflows. But now I feel more confident that I am heading in the right direction with the project, so I need to continue my research and get onto my contact so they can send me some more images so I have a greater selection to choose from.