Taking photography global: The Global Photographies Network
23 November 2020
Mandy Jandrell, Director of the Falmouth School of Art and Institute of Photography at Falmouth, has helped form ‘The Global Photographies Network’. Working with colleagues from The Slade School of Fine Art, Camberwell College of Art, Leeds Arts University, Westminster University and a number of institutions across the globe, their goal is to create a new international network for sharing emerging photographic practice and meeting practitioners from all over the world.
‘The Global Photographies Network’ is a network of professional photographic organisations and educational institutions dedicated to expanding and fostering transnational discourse in contemporary photography. The project has been founded by academics at five Universities in the UK to produce a more complex picture of how photography is used and explored. Although it has begun in the UK with its colonial history, it aims to establish a network of equal global partners, inside and outside of education, with the aim of producing a collaborative and de-centered (or horizontal) platform. It aims towards producing a shared space for the presentation and discussion of ideas.
The emergence of coronavirus forced academics online, which gave the opportunity to utilise new digital platforms that enabled the Network to develop its global reach and work with practitioners all over the world.
The network has launched with a series of five talks, one per month, each hosted from a different country around the world. The first of these talks took place in November and was delivered from Mexico City by the artist, curator and mentor Ana Casas Broda. Ana gave an overview of her organisation “Hydra’ and how it is helping support the development of innovative new photography by artists from a range of diverse backgrounds. Ana gave great insight into how she has set up a system of mentoring, workshops and DIY photobook production and publishing to help support the development of a number of exciting emerging practitioners in Mexico and beyond.
The talk was made available to Falmouth students, who joined peers from Ecuador, South Africa, Sweden, Mexico, Estonia, Poland, China, The Netherlands, Finland, Brazil and Portugal to start the first, of what will hopefully be many, discussions on emerging and diverse practices.
"We have everything to gain by building our conversations and connections with photographers all over the world. The impact that a collaborative, de-centred academic programme could have on both individual students and our wider society would be significant."
Mandy hopes that this first talk will act as a platform for further shared discussions. “Creating a more complex picture of how photography is used and explored by engaging with speakers from a range of cultural backgrounds can help transform higher education and allow us to form new networks. It can open us all up to new dialogues, gain greater understanding and share our experiences”.
The network will go on to launch further events, workshops and seminars on web-based platforms in the future to facilitate the creation of a global photography community. Falmouth photography students will be able to join their peers around the world for such events.
The Global Photographies Network is also currently building a collaborative partnership with the University of Cape Town in South Africa to facilitate dialogue between emerging South African photographers and those in the rest of the world. And, as part of the programme, the network is looking to secure funding to mentor and develop the careers of young South African photographers, who might not otherwise have had the opportunity to show their work on a global platform.
As Mandy explains, "we have everything to gain by building our conversations and connections with photographers all over the world. The impact that a collaborative, de-centred academic programme could have on both individual students and our wider society would be significant."
The Global Photographies Network programme of talks continues with a presentation from Dr. Chu Yinhua on December 9th at 1pm.
Dr Yinhua is a practicing photographer and academic who lives and works in Taipei. Her talk will focus on the development of contemporary photography in Taiwan and will include a range of innovative practitioners working today. Her talk will touch on her specialist area of research- looking at how contemporary photographers in Taiwan are using the photobook to disseminate their practice.
Chu YinHua is Assistant Professor in National Taipei University of Education. She received Ph.D. (Practice-Based) at Centre for Research and Education in Arts and Media, University of Westminster, MA in Photography and Urban Culture at Goldsmiths College. Chu has worked as a photographer and curator and exhibited her work widely.
The talk she will present introduces the variation of photobooks in Taiwan. As an island located in the centre of the East-Asian island arc, the western edge of the Pacific Ocean, and the southeast coast of the continent of Asia, Taiwan, also known as 'Ilha Formosa', has been governed by different colonial regimes in different periods of time. These include the Netherlands, Spain, the Ming and Qing Dynasties, Japan, and the Republic of China.
The production of photobooks in Taiwan history was inextricably intertwined with the cultivation of Taiwanese subjectivity that represented the shift from the colonialists' perspective of this island to the diverse and multi-layered self-awareness. This talk treats 'photobook' as a metaphorical composition that implies the role of photographer-auteur, the juxtaposition of text and image, the editor's decision on layout and sequence, as well as the designer's and publisher's performance on printed material.
If you would like to learn more about Dr YinHua, visit her website here.