Also this day: listening to a thoughtful discussion with @ltaub about the history of image ethics, in relation to some well known documentary images. What does it mean when we take someone else's photograph and put it in a public social place?
Realised that it's relevant to me to think of a photograph as something that is taken. If I am photographed too much I really do feel exhausted by it. Is this an introvert thing?
@katebowles @ltaub Perhaps it's an invasion of self thing. Often when people 'Take' your photo, it can be a demand to pose, do, smile, sit a certain way that may not be what you do or not what or how you might choose to share. That is seldom acknowledged or discussed. If it is candid and permission is given, perhaps that feels different. if/when posted there is then explaining of what, when, where, why, who... difficult to say. um. no. and no just because. maybe?
@ltaub @lauraritchie At the same time I was reading a painful thread on Twitter from a student forced to record herself for a class, because shiny new engaging edtech. Her account of the disempowering and serious impact on her wellbeing was compelling.
I do think we need to be ready to hear from people who wish to go unrecorded.
And I think for me it certainly connects to introversion.
@katebowles @lauraritchie @ltaub this brings to mind Ways of Seeing, women being forced to occupy the dual role of object & meticulous editor of their image-self. Then, with the lens, being forced to see yourself not just through the external judging eyes of now around you, but of all the unguessable potential audiences. The image becomes heavier–more dreadful–the more meanings others can ascribe to it outside of any need or ability to relate to the person that image is a surgical sliver of.
@paralithode @ltaub @lauraritchie Thinking also about a companion piece of this puzzle, Laura Mulvey's 1973 essay on the to-be-looked-at status of women in movies. (I find this one more irksome than lovely John Berger, though.)
I wonder if we have lost a facility for thinking about power and image ethics because smartphone tech and social photo apps together create the impression that power is neutralised and we are just sharing the visible with each other?
@katebowles @ltaub @paralithode goes back to that daily #invocation and remembering to be here now, and to be aware of the other. Was discussing a related topic in my intensive week course- about how in private instrumental teaching some teachers touch students' hands or arms to 'show' how to play violin for example - put them physically in position & how that is not OK (that was our message) because you can know your intention but never know how the other perceives or receives it. (cont)
@paralithode @ltaub @katebowles I think that is a symptom of today - we 'do', action is the fallback and there is little if any discussion about impact, reception, and even reason (methodology or benefit). People are REAL and there is no do-over, only the healing/learning time can bring.
In my classes, everything w/ public engagement is optional. I make sure 1. I do it first & 2. There are always iterative options. -no face, no name, I act as voice for them... to allow for individuals.
@lauraritchie @paralithode @katebowles When I asked in Kate's presence, what are our responsibilities when we take the images of others and render them public I was very much holding in my mind and heart the work of documentary filmmaker Elizabeth Barrett. From the heavily storied place of Letcher County Kentucky, Barrett made a film about just that question (and which I am grateful to share and discuss with students every semester). "Stranger with a Camera" http://www.pbs.org/pov/strangerwithacamera/interview/
@ltaub @katebowles @paralithode @lauraritchie Thanks for the vid. I live in Kentucky, near Mammoth Cave. We have large Amish communities near us.They are wary of strangers with cameras so I take mindsnaps. Here is one: returning from buying sheep feed at the mill. I round the hills out of Cub Run and see and smell before me a new-mown field. Nearly so. A four-horse team is pulling a ground driven haybine & the Amish teamster is making his slow turn to cut the last swath. Click. #smallstories
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