27 September 2007

Durham Conference (Again) ~ D.J. Clark & Picturing the Majority World

Among the highlights of the Conference from my perspective was a presentation by David Clark a remarkable, thoughtful documentary photographer who talked about his experience in the field, especially in the context of his efforts to heighten the reflexiveness among his profession. You can find some of the themes that David took up in a paper of his: "The Production of a Contemporary Famine Image: The image economy, indigenous photographers and the case of Mechanic Philipos." Journal of International Development 16, 1-12 (2004). David was among the organizers in the Imaging Famine exhibition project about which I posted here very early on. But, as his web page makes clear, he is involved in a wide variety of photographic and educational projects in England, China, and elsewhere. He was extremely impressive as a person and speaker. Among the locations that David mentioned in his talk is majorityworld.com which is an organization dedicated to the promotion of work by photographers indigenous to the developing world. According to their web page: "Majority World is a new global initiative founded through the collaboration of The Drik Picture Library of Bangladesh and KijijiVision in the UK to champion the cause of indigenous photographers from the developing world and the global South - the Majority World!"

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Anonymous Michelle said...

Hi again, Thanks for posting about the conference, I'm always curious what people are talking about vis-a-vis photography. I'll look up the DJ Clark reference. I am also impressed by the Majority World project and, in case you're interested, wrote a response on my blog after hearing Shahidul Alam (one of the founders) speak at the Dun Laoghaire, Dublin conference in July. Although I agree with the need to promote indigenous photographers (as Majority World does) I also felt something was left out by viewing photographers in those terms.

27 September, 2007 11:02  
Blogger Jim Johnson said...

M, Dave was actually quite interesting on the ironic pressures that have emerged for local photographers as they are pressured by market forces to produce cliched images - thereby losing their edge in terms of providing local perspective and insight. In some ways it seems a no-win situaiton. You want to promote local talent but then end up homogenizing the very people whom you hpe might offer a distinctive view!

27 September, 2007 21:48  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

DJ Clark, represented by Panos, teaches in China, linked with Bolton University, enamoured with a false glamourous idea that photography is some kind of world changing medium, which it isn't.

Sontag said it a long time ago: photography changes nothing, essentially.

04 October, 2007 16:11  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Drik Picture Library of Bangladesh is a gallery and project that benefits men - just men - almost exclusively. Guess which religion is the reason for that. Guess if Drik has any power over that situation, or if they are doing anything about it.

I suggest that equality for women is a kind of ABC of politics, that Drik and many others fail to address. Why? - because its such a huge problem in Islam.

12 October, 2007 13:27  

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