Lessons from Morocco

I spent the first weekend of the month running a Photobook workshop in Casablanca, Morocco funded by Coventry University’s DMLL and with a great group of students. Some of these participants were photographers, some had studied at art schools, some were passionate amateurs but all were super engaged and I learned a lot…

Images by Daniel Donnelly

11949367_10206683276854182_8907301954410554253_n

The desire to make is great
– while there is some critique of a maker culture which undervalues curation and debate in favour of production, it was clear that the transition from screen to paper and images into book brought about genuine excitement.

11947602_10206688509264989_7285747054093919663_n

Sometimes sharing is separating
– Daniel Donnelly (with whom I ran the workshop) and I were keen to involve an online and social element to the project –  to tweet particular moments, Facebook particular questions etc – a way to engage with communities beyond the room. It was apparent though that this took away from the intense experience of the session, removed participants and their attention – it was instead used as refference and record for the ‘real life’ experience. We didn’t push it, and I now notice how these spaces have become a great repository – extending the project longitudinally.

 

Competition isn’t healthy
– competition pushes us, it is a useful element of the learning process – I call bullshit – it was so refreshing to see people truly pleased for one another and their works. I want to find out how to inject some of this into an education system that constantly seeks to place people in competition – either by age, institution, or through high fees and low employment options.

These were exciting books
– it is hard to say without appearing patronising, getting giddy over the exotic or promoting the location-based photobook mining we have seen over the last ten years BUT these were exciting books. Techniques and structures were used without knowledge of their reference to previous works – they were used as they were appropriate. Images were treated as possibilities in the book and the book was treated as a possibility for the images.

11952006_10206688515225138_2471930423207877283_nThese folks would love some books
– it isn’t easy to come by photobooks in Casablanca, in fact it is almost impossible, yet their is a community hungry to see new works and old. I have been sending books to Morocco for some time, and will continue to do so, but maybe think about the next time you send out X% of your edition to reviewers and collectors – send some to a library, community or school – it will likely be far more useful.

 

DMLL_Logo_Text_new_landscape_blue

Photobook Workshop in Casablanca

Really excited to be running a workshop with Daniel Donnelly in Casablanca this September (4th – 6th) for locals, both professional, amateur and interested. The 3 day workshop will focus on connecting with an audience through edit and design but will also feature a binding tutorial. 11831639_10152985628246835_7613163850113137134_n

Participants will leave with a dummy book and the knowledge, as well as basic equipment, to take the next steps in bringing a photobook into existence. For more information, see the event page here.

This event is supported by the DMLL at Coventry University

DMLL_Logo_Text_new_landscape_blue

Scopio Photobook Contest + Riga Workshop

The folks at Scopio have initiated a photobook contest with a theme that both sets a guide and gives freedom for exploration and perhaps destruction. You can find all the relevant details by clicking on the image below.

In other news there is a great workshop in Riga as part of Riga Photomonth – it is an artist’s book workshop and is run over 5 days, led by photobook designer Nico Baumgarten. A similar workshop was run last year, you can check out some of the results here. You can find all the details by hiting the image or see the direct message from the ISSP below it…

SSP and Riga Photomonth 2014 invite applications to ARTIST’S BOOK WORKSHOP with photographer and bookmaker Nico Baumgarten (DE)! The workshop will take place on 3-7 May 2014 as part of Riga Photomonth programme.

This time, we invite photographers as well as illustrators, graphic artists and other creatives with projects ready for presentation in form of a book to apply!
The dummies produced during the workshop shall be featured as part of SELF PUBLISH RIGA exhibition in May 2013.

Nico has lead a bookmaking workshop in Riga last spring and proved to be an amazing teacher. The results can be seen here: http://www.isspskola.lv/.

The workshop will host 12 participants, selected based on applications.  Application deadline: 1 April.

The workshop is supported by Riga 2014, State Culture Capital foundation, Goethe Institut in Riga, AS Antalis and Hewlett-Packard. Information support: FK Magazine, FOLD, kim? Contemporary Arts Centre, Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art.

More information and applications: http://www.selfpublishriga.com/?section=workshop

NB! We’d like to remind that your existing dummies and self-published trial editions (up to 50 copies) can be submitted to SELF PUBLISH RIGA contest and exhibition till 20 April! Info – www.selfpublishriga.com.

Should you have any questions, please write to ieva@issp.lv or selfpublish@issp.lv.

Yours with spring greetings,

ISSP