To develop my narrative, I felt that it was important to write down my process of discovery. I have found this to be really valuable in considering how the images are going to be sequenced. This account also serves to place me into the story as it creates a chronicle of my journey and discovery, albeit not necessarily in chronological order. Key feedback has been to develop the initial way that I had been captioning the images, which was considered to be too narrow in terms of how the images are being read. My use of quotes subsequently went very much the other way and created an open reading of the work that left too many questions. This story aims to redress the balance. My intention is to place this towards the end of the book, so that the images and quotes can be looked at first and then the story can be read. This way the viewer can then return to the images and have elements revealed to them that they may have missed on an initial viewing of the work:
For the recent round of portfolio reviews I was able to talk with Clare Bottomley, Ant Prothero and Michal Iwanowski. Feedback from pretty much all of the reviewers was focused quite a bit on the way that my images are interacting with the words. In particular, with the way that the intro text is leading the audience into the whole project and how that might actually be giving away too much information about the project too soon. I have also not been giving the audience credit to work out aspects of the work for themselves as well as putting faith in existing knowledge to make connections within the work. I am effectively over explaining and making redundant statements. This is actually a timely reminder to not try and shoehorn too many ideas into it and over indulging the exposition. According to Iwanowski, audiences like to solve these puzzles for themselves, which is a core part of my project. I may end up frustrating them by giving too much away. Prothero concurred with this, suggesting that because the story started before me I could consider placing my own version of events in the middle somewhere. Iwanoski also suggested the opening text should really be the question that started the work and I work to build the answer throughout the sequence.
Another point that Prothero made was the way that at the moment the work feels as though I am telling someone else’s story, asking where do I fit into this work. This starts to take nto account feedback that I have received from my peers and also a conversation that I had with Cemre with the way that my initial image captions were being read as too fixed and impersonal. The way that I create image descriptors akin to how a museum might log an item The challenge with this however, is they interfere with the narrative of the story. During the recent Geoff Dyer talk, he noted the way that images and text work together and potential for redundancy with words illustrating images and images illustrating words (2021). The fixed nature of my descriptive captions also started to create judgement on the images and the way that they were being read, for example I noted that my brother just finished a shift collecting rubbish in his portrait when it is clear to see in the image he was wearing work clothing. When I showed the work to Ross from my cohort, he noted that the caption felt derogatory, which was also supported by Cemre’s reading of the work. To work on this, I have been aiming to use the ambiguity of the quotes that I have been collecting t see how they work with the images and support the narrative arc of the work. This actually works much better within the concept of the Unreliable Narrator.
That said, later editors of the work presented to the reviewers, it was unclear who was ‘narrating,’ which could create intrigue in the work through it’s ambiguity but also continue t frustrate the audience. This might end up becoming too loose, the opposite of the completely fixed version with the descriptive captions. There is a fine line to make here. My aim is to show somehow the answer to the question that I pose at the start and not obfuscate the narrative for the reader of the work in showing the revelations that I have found. Up to quite recently, I had no answer to this question so no real reason to consider this part – some clearing of the ambiguity would be useful. I could also identify all of the characters in this narrative a bit more so that the reader knows who they are. Clare Bottomley was really insightful in providing some further areas of research to explore, including reminding me that Dinu Li has experience with the family archive and produced a book on the topic, so I will aim to attend one of his crits for further developments.
Narrative editing – Audio to the written word
My plan following all of the feedback that I received is to produce a text, which is based on my own experiences of the journey that I have undergone but also to place everything within this narrative in a chronological order of discovery. Even If I go back and edit the text and change the order, I think that it is vital that I get a sense of the overall story as it is now before playing with its sequence. A key takeaway from my feedback was the strength of the way that I tell the story so I will aim to use this as a central core in which to sequence the photographs.
This actually is something that I considered early on, albeit using a different medium, linking back to ideas I had initially around the edited audio elements. It is an idea that still interests me but the learning curve in creating and putting together an edited serial podcast style of audio that I suggested in my proposal. Although I have collected some audio as part of my process, I overestimated the amount of work putting this kind of production would have alongside the other aspects of the project I proposed. However, part of the process of creating a kind of serial audio documentary would require me to write the narrative for either my own narration, or to work out the sequence and edit of the production. This would be similar to how podcast ‘Serial’ is structured, which is described as ‘narrative non-fiction story’ (Koenig, 2014). This format of building and slowly revealing elements of the story for the audience to discover is actually a useful framework for me to write my own narrative for Unreliable Narrator. The way that I write the story provides the opportunity to address much of the feedback that I have received on the project with regards to elements such as the introduction of the characters and the significance of some of the places. It also works to place me into the work as part of the family presented.
The text that I produce would be short, potentially around 1500 to 2000 words, which would be considered a ‘Flash Fiction’ if it were a novel, or novella. A key difference is my story is based in fact and connects to Vanessa Winship’s notion that photography is somewhere between chronicle and fiction.
Dyer, G., 2021. Coversation with Geoff Dyer – Falmouth Flexible [Interview] (8 July 2021).
Koenig, S., 2014. Serial. [Sound Recording] (This American Life).
|Date of Supervision Meeting||14/07/21|
|Start time of Meeting||10:00|
|Length of Meeting in minutes||30 mins|
|Meeting Notes & Action Points||It was good to catch up with Wendy and go through the progress that I have made with my project. With the latest revelations of the work, it will be important to let this sit and be fully absorbed to see where the work develops. However, I set out to find an answer to a question and have ended up getting an answer so it is now important to see how this works with the work and not let it get too fixed down. Wendy enjoys the openness of the work and this is something that should remain within the edit that I put together. How image and text work together will play a crucial role in this.It was suggested that I take a look at the work of Lisa Barnard and also re-visit Jack Latham’s talk. It was also suggested that I go back and write a new project descriptor to define what my project is now. Themes of redemption and how potential that circle of trauma had been broken leading to how we live today, which I am going to research much more. It is important that I ‘Pull myself back to intentionality.’|
I will continue to talk with book designer with the next meeting planned tomorrow and start to document this part of the process. Wendy reminded me that the submission is merely an iteration in which the project can continue to develop
|Date of Next Proposed Meeting||4/8/21|
My project has shifted it focus. Recently, I found out that my grandmother had passed away whilst I have been making this project, in May. She had Lung cancer and I was informed by my cousin who I had reached out early on for my grandmother’s address. My grandmother had given instructions that no one can know what was happening until after she had died, including my mother. Off the back of this revelation, I had resolved the fact that I would never fully know her reasons for the rift with my mother.
This weekend however, I was contacted by my cousin to let me know that they had some photographs for me to give to my family, so I travelled down to the West Country to meet with her and also my aunt, my mum’s sister. She was quite candid about the relationship between my mum and grandmother. What happens stems from their Step-Father, and my aunt catalogued a history of domestic violence perpetrated on all of the family and in particular my gran and my mum. I followed this up with a long conversation with my mum who I have not really spoken to about all of this until now. She essentially confirmed what my aunt was saying but also adding that my grandmother was equally as abusive towards my mum. It has taken a few days to start processing what I was being told. I wondered why it has taken until now to know these things, yet as my mum said to me “how do you tell your children,” which I can understand. Given that they did not speak for over 20 years and that we were children at the time of this break down, I can see how both time and distance meant that the opportunity for this kind of conversation never arose.
The uncovering of these things also gives me some context in which I can understand my mum’s attitudes to certain things, such as the pandemic, and her deep mis-trust of any authority, which is because she was unable to rely and trust those in power, those people who were supposed to safeguard her when she was a child. This is at the root of the project that I am creating here. It is the spectre of this culture of domestic violence that has rippled down through the generations and continues to impact all of us in some way.
Although I will never get to hear her side, and from what my mother has told me, cannot excuse, I can to a certain extent understand my grandmother too. My mother’s biological father left when my aunt was still a baby, according to her, with another woman. This was the early sixties where my gran would have had little means of supporting three very young children. I don’t know the backstory on how she got together with the step-dad but can only imagine that there were few choices afforded to her at that time. The abuse suffered by my mother may in part be channelled from an existence of living in fear herself both physically, emotionally, and economically, but this is speculation as I will never fully know.
For my project now
The impact of my parents’ upbringing would have an effect on my own. It is worth pointing out that although I grew up quite poor, my childhood was quite blissful yet there has always been this sense of connection and identity, which I have been keen to explore here. Ideas of epigenetics is something that I am now going to look at again as it related to the things that we inherit in addition to our DNA. There is also elements of Derrida’s Hauntology (2006) that I will need to review and see how it applies to this new direction. This has all come quite late into the process of the work but is fundamental to the project and important that I give it a faithful representation within the work. Another opportunity to revisit the ethics of what I am doing.
There are a few images within the archive that show the step-dad, who is also now deceased. The idea of the unreliable narrator still applied to the project but with a shift in focus towards ideas around abusive relationships – gaslighting a prime example. I have memories of this man as a child, he was an intimidating figure who had tattoos up each arm and that we used to have to call him granddad, but I somehow knew that was not true. It was always uncomfortable to be around, which I guess reflects the relations between everyone at that time. This is the spectre that I referred to in my initial opening statement for the project. Within my sequence, I could use the images but in an abstracted way to highlight this concept. I also do not wish to create agency for this person. There is also the question of memory and how hazy this can be.
At the start of the FMP, I made some experiments by re-photographing archive images of my gran and then printing them onto Basildon Bond letter paper (Fig: 1), which created a physicality to them by showing the grain of the image and the paper that the image was printed on. I felt that these worked quite well but as the project progressed, I wasn’t sure how they fit in. Now I have an opportunity to use the technique in order to abstract these images.
The images from the archive were copied onto a new role of black and white film, which I then printed out onto standard laser jet paper (Fig 2&3). I then photographed the printout using a macro set-up with studio lights to show the grain of the paper. These negatives were then printed in a darkroom onto out-of-date printing paper. Part of the aesthetic of these images was to keep them in line with the faded archive images that I am working with. Some of these produce an outcome that is barely registered on the paper, which adds to the idea of hauntology – the spectre of a person that continues to impact via their actions in the past. The outcome also provides the photographic trace of something that was there connecting to ideas of memory.
Derrida, J., 2006. Spectres of Marx. New York: Routledge Classics.
The past few weeks have been quite tumultuous for the project. Many ups and downs. It has been a good time to reflect on the progress and consider ways in which I can move forward to a resolution.
I have collected together a great deal of material for the project, which creates the problem of editing. When I see that lots of the images are important, the job of sequencing and pairing down becomes a real challenge. I sought some feedback from my peers and also Cemre who have been very useful is getting me to think about the work in preparation to sequence it.
Ross pointed out the way that the still life objects suggest that I am in the process of unpacking everything as I ‘discover it,’ which is not something that I though of myself but makes sense in the way that I have been approaching these objects. He also noted that some of the images, in particular the house, feels like a scene of crime image (which has since become poignant to the project) and suggesting of something that has happened. Since receiving this feedback from Ross, my project has shifted in this direction owing to new information coming to light – that I intend to elaborate on once I have fully processed it.
Ross seemed to like the way that I was using the text and how it does not point to a particular narrator, which has been the point of the work and I am happy that he had this reading of it. He did point out that there are some consistency issues with the text and this is something others have also suggested to me. A clear area to develop is in the way that these pieces of text come across for the narrative. Colin made the point that I must be the one who is reliable so that I can be unreliable, and it will be in these details in which that will start to make sense.
The captions seemed to be where I am getting the most comments within terms of how the images are being read. When I started looking at the archive, I made the conscious decision to log everything in a database and describe each artifact in what could be seen visually – essentially all of the denoted elements of the photographs. I then added to these descriptions with accompanying information inside square brackets, which are used to add extra information not by the author. This is an extra level of confusion when both the image, the caption, and the brackets are made by me the author of the work. Initially, my intention with the caption was to create the distance suggested by Wayne C. Booth but I am starting to realise that there are better ways of doing this.
As soon as I started to introduce some of the quotes collected along the way, this approach has become a little inconsistent with the rest of the work – too matter of fact. The other challenge I am finding is the literal descriptions are being read in a way that starts to create negative associations or placing judgement on the subject. Ross made special note of this as he pointed out the portrait of my brother (fig: 1) might come across as too judgmental with the inclusion of the caption about his shift work. I was aiming to make connections to ideas of class within the wider body of work but now realise that I really don’t have to do so in an overt way. In our last meeting, Colin also suggested that the sequencing of the quotes will be important to the narrative of the project and I should start to focus on this aspect of it.
I made a point of speaking with Cemre, who support me on the surfaces and strategies module, she also has great experience producing books. Her feedback was also focussed on the way that I had been using text and how inconsistent it is when looking through the project. As usual, I have a huge amount of ideas that I am unwilling to let go off and as a result the whole project suffers. Cemre made the useful observation that at the moment the project is far too loose, and it was important to get things back under control. It would be important to come to the work as if I was starting it from scratch. The issue with creating early sequences of the work, as I have been doing all along, is that I may lose some important connections with the work by hanging on to image sequences that are actually not really helping the project as a whole. It is vitally important that I go back to the beginning of this and work on the narrative much more. Between colin, Ross, and Cemre I should focus on working on the way that the text elements fit together before sequencing the images. And of course, the all important ‘living with the work’ comment was made, so I am going to get all of the images on a wall to work through the sequence again.
As I had started working with a book designer, I spoke with Cemre about this process. It was noted that it would be good to get a handle on the sequence and narrative before I meet again with the designer. This was very useful as I had been presenting a patchwork of loose ideas before this. However, I will need to conder how flexible this project will need to be even after I have a dummy designed. On a recent interview with Bryan Schutmaat and Matthew Genitempo (Smith, et al., 2021) they discuss that it is important to have a great set of images that don’t necessarily have to be too structured in terms of the presentation as the publisher will always want to bring something to the outcome of the book. This of course is if I chose to continue pursuing publishers over self-publishing.
A useful takeaway from my discussion with Cemre is that the book will exist longer than other forms of dissemination and I really need to consider this and what it will bring to the project.
I also spoke with Drew who was able to provide some useful insight into the project and how I might start tackling the sequence and narrative. One of the main points of feedback he made was in the way that I need to find something within the process that is valuable to the sequence. If there is no real conclusion it becomes about what I discovered along the way. My project is very much about the journey and not the outcome so this is an area to now focus on.
Crucially, in our discussion Drew reminded me of Barthes’ ‘Image-Music-Text’ chapter on ‘Structural Analysis of Narrative’ (1977: 79-124), which breaks down the process of how a narrative is structured. Although Barthes is referring to literature, there are useful elements to consider in putting together a photographic narrative that I am aiming to apply. For example, it is important to consider what each of my images is saying in terms of what I want to say. Barthes points out: “having described the flower, the botanist is not to get involved in describing the bouquet” (p. 83), which is to suggest that I am effectively shutting down discourse by overly describing within my captions. Each image becomes a sentence in the story and some of the images would be consider longer sentences than others. Time to break down the images into these elements and then bring them back together.
Barthes, R., 1977. Image, Music, Text. Translation edition ed. London: Fontana.
Smith, B., Genitempo, M. & Schutmaat, B., 2021. 155 – Matthew Genitempo & Bryan Schutmaat. [Online]
Available at: https://bensmithphoto.com/asmallvoice/genitempo-and-schutmaat
I have found it valuable to continue to submit my work for a range of opportunities and helps to focus my work towards a public outcome and find its audience.
Submitting writing has created some valuable opportunies to see how my own research applies to the discourses around photography. For everything that I submit, I have attempted to use part of my current research to create a more robust argument, which I have found really useful in informing my practice and the to support the development of my FMP outcomes
Capture Photography festival based in Vancouver, Canada were seeking submissions to contribute a text for the next edition of the festival in 2022. The submitted text asked for is a sample of writing and would lead to a commissioned text for the festival catalogue. For this submission, I chose to revisit an essay that I originally wrote for a call for papers, for Canadian art journal ‘Esse’ (Fig: 1), which was not selected but received some useful feedback for its development. This was a useful text to look at again and re-write as I was considering the way that some vernacular images are used between family members in a kind of transactional way. This additional attribution to the photograph is something that I am returning to again for the FMP and also it informs the submission for source magazine.
Figure 2: Phil Hill (June, 2021) Updated Essay for Capture Festival
Source Writing Prize
I took the opportunity to consider in a bit more detail the cut image from my family archive that triggered my FMP project (Fig: 3). In particular, what it is that draws me to this otherwise innocuous image. The text is an extension of a CRJ post that I created (Fig: 4), referencing Barthes’ ‘Winter Garden Photograph’ and the power that the absent photograph still has as a photograph, or in the case of my family photograph, the power of the part that is missing
Off the back of the ‘Communities and Communication conference that I did in April, I was invited to submit my paper for the upcoming conference publication, which is to be in the form of a 6000-word paper on the topics that I was discussing there. Some of the research that informed this discussion, which was around the community of Watford, where I live. Research on ideas around photographic nostalgia are important for my current project as well as community in the form of family.
I have had some success having single images accepted for awards during the MA, for example the Kuala Lumpur Portrait Prize, and 2021 Portrait of Humanity. I am really pleased to be a part of these awards however, I wanted to start focusing on competitions that took series entries as I felt that the narrative of my projects were lost by viewing single images.
Although he is strictly writing about the structure of the written narrative, James Wood in his book ‘How Fiction Works’ provides a strong set of parameters on how to utilise narration within a story (2019). This is useful for me to reflect on as my body of work will be heavily reliant on sequencing a strong narrative that uses a ‘narrator’ effectively.
There are a couple of key takeaways for me in Wood’s discussion on the unreliable narrator. Referring to W.G. Sebald he notes the way that worlds are created in which the rules are already widely known by everyone reading the book, which then leads to an opportunity to undermine this world, these rules, in a way that the reader knows that the narration is unreliable (2019:14). This is also in reference to the way that Barthes highlighted nineteenth century writers who would use common cultural or scientific knowledge as a way of a short cut (p. 16). Photography in a sense creates these shortcuts by the visual language present in the image however it is important not to overlook this fact. My project and photography exist in the world but some elements may not be acceptable to all that view it. I will want to construct a world through the sequence, which at first is familiar but has a number of features that starts to undermine and unravel the accepted rules of the world. I will need to define the rules of my world that I am presenting to you. As Wood puts it: “reliable manipulation” (2019:15) of the narrative to create the sense of the unreliable narrator.
The question for my work is who is going to be the narrator? Will it be me, one of the people photographed, or another character not seen? Wayne C. Booth places an emphasis on the distance between the characters of a narrative and the author (1975: 155). Wood notes: “As soon as someone tells a story about a character, narrative seems to want to bend itself around that character, wants to merge with that character, to take on his or her way of thinking and speaking” (2019, p. 16), which suggests that the distance is created automatically by the reader of the work. I see my role in constructing the world in which the narrator operates, although I am not sure on who will be identified as the ‘narrator,’ I don’t think it will be me and will be created from the quotes that I have been collecting about the work. Perhaps the main reason for me not being considered as narrator, is as Wood notes: “first person narration is generally more reliable than unreliable; and third-person ‘omnicient’ narration is generally more partial than omniscient” (p. 14). For my work of photography, the reader is less able to suspend disbelief of my authorship, which would draw attention to and increase the artifice associated with this construction – leading to a poor execution of the concept. If as Wood is suggesting that the third-person is actually more unreliable and bias, then effectively, the narrator can be made from the text that accompanies the images.
Booth, W. C., 1975. The Rhetoric of Fiction. 11 ed. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
Wood, J., 2019. How Fiction Works. Revised Edition ed. London: Vintage.
I have written briefly about photography and belief (Fig: 1) in relation to David Levi-Strauss’ essay (2020). My project is also exploring the subject of belief, so it is important to take some time to reflect on what this means and how it can be represented in the project. Neuroscientist Hannah Critchlow considers this in her book ‘The Science of Fate’ (2021) which looks at a range of scientific studies related to ideas of belief and perception and crosses over very well into my own explorations as well as the philosophical debate within and out of photography on the ways in which we construct our realities.
Figure 1: Phil Hill (June, 2021) Writing on belief in photography.
I am interested in the reasons why people chose to believe. In some cases, and most relevant during this pandemic, why a person might choose to believe something that runs contrary to the overwhelming evidence that exists (Fig: 2). Critchlow refers to our brains as being a kind of “belief engine” (2021, p. 131), which will seek out supporting information for belief and ignore anything that appears to contradict this view point. Critchlow suggests that once the belief has been established, then it becomes increasingly difficult to change that mindset, as she notes: “And, given the scale of the brain’s eagerness to assign casual meaning to casual events, it’s easy to see how quickly one could arrive at an erroneous conclusion […] from essentially random occurrences” (p. 137). For example, my families own experience of being working class can feel that the system is stacked against you and by extension that authority and the state is also complicit in this – leading to a mistrust of any kind of authority, and a withdrawal. It is not too difficult to understand a leap from that, to a position that considers the pandemic some kind of extension of this, however misinformed that might be.
Critchlow discusses the way that we form belief, which is based on how we construct the world from our experiences, as she notes: “there is no such thing as objective reality” (p. 110). This of course connects to the discussion around photography, for example Susan Sontag’s Opening chapter to ‘On Photography,’ highlighting Plato’s allegory of the cave as a primary way that photography reconstitutes reality, but also the differences between knowledge and belief (1979, pp. 3-26). Photography is unable to present reality, because we are also flawed in presenting reality, as Critchlow states: “I don’t men to suggest that the physical world does not exist, rather that every person on this planet perceives it in a slightly different way. Everyone is living in their own ‘bespoke’ reality” (2021, p. 111). Critchlow’s arguments also seem to suggest links to Graham Harmon’s Object Orientated Ontology (2018), as it seeks to push the de-privileging of human interpretation as the primary factor for understanding the world.
An important takeaway from Critchlow is the way that belief is entrenched, potentially never able to come around to a different point of view. It is how we are able to make sense of the world and each of our brains are hard pressed to give that up: “Future reality starts to mould itself around the belief” (Critchlow, 2021, p. 137). Philosophically, the idea that reality is constructed has only been reinforced on a neurological level and crucially points out that: “our brains are invested in maintaining rather than changing our beliefs” (p. 138).
What is the impact that this has on my project? I am not aiming to change the opinion, or belief of anyone in my family. This would be quite an unethical position in terms of the power structure of me as the photographer. By the same token I am not a passive observer here, this is my family and the interactions that I have with them are always going to be very different to anyone else. I do not hold the same beliefs as my family so part of the project is to put this as one of the central focus of the sequence of the work. We all have a unique interpretation of the world, some of this might be misinformed and misguided, but ultimately who is truly able to make accurate judgement of the world when we are all flawed in the way that Critchlow suggests.
Critchlow, H., 2021. The Science of Fate. 1 ed. London: Hodder Paperbacks.
Harmon, G., 2018. Object Orientated Ontology – A New Theory of Everything. 1st ed. London: Pelican Books.
Levi Strauss, D., 2020. Photography and Belief. 1 ed. New York: David Zwirner Books.
Sontag, S., 1979. On Photography. London: Penguin.
Now that I am starting to get more of a grasp over what exactly I am going to be sequencing a project out of, it is important to come back to review the ethics of my project, it will be important to include those I am photographing in order to create a collaborative approach to the work and also have the consent of those I am photographing. I have spoken about the project with my family, however this is a continuing dialogue to ensure that the reading of the final outcome will be both faithful and respectful to them.
Themes are developing in my work that could be viewed with a kind of othering of my family, which I could be doing as much as anyone looking at the series. Kirsty Mackay noted in an interview with her collective ‘The Other,’ “Photography’s always been very good at portraying victims and not as good at portraying the perpetrators. And if you are looking at poverty, for instance, through a middle-class lens it’s easy to miss out a lot of the nuances and tell a very single sided story” (Mackay, et al., 2021). I am not looking at poverty, but being that my family is working class, the project would inevitably attract some attention in this area. My intention is not to portray my family as victims – they are not. The focus is that there are a number of beliefs, which are formed by the individual, but also by outside influences and that we start to subscribe to the labels that we are given. I have written about this previously after listening to Nichola Twemlow discuss this in relation to her experiences with social work (2021). Mackay et al also discuss this specifically to photography, where they note in particular about those in power applying the labels and also how this starts to shape and effect those given the labels. If someone is photographing you and also telling you the reason is because you are working class, or poor, then how does that start to effect and impact the relationship between photographer and the person being photographed? The portrayal could be misleading (2021). It is crucial that I continually ask myself these questions, even when I am photographing my family and subscribe to some of the labels. I am the one with the camera, so also the one with the power so there needs to be a collaboration as even though I share much of the same experiences as my family this does not mean that I am immune from exploiting them. This again feeds back into Mariamma Attah’s discussion around ideas of socially engaged practice (Fig: 1), where I analysed the key points of this concept and how I can apply them to my project.
As my project is my own family, I am well placed to navigate the nuances that Mackay et al suggest might be missed by a complete outsider. It is also worth noting that this is my story to tell. However, I am still an outsider in the sense that I am the one with the camera looking in. The dialogue is important t have with the people in the project but also with myself. Savannah Dodd discusses this in the article ‘The Ethics of Documenting your own Family,’ which points out the need to not overlook such questions just because they are your own family, as Dodd notes of Amanda Mustard: “It’s a gift to have the perspective and personal experiences that allow access to important stories that may not be told with depth otherwise. But with greater depth comes the need for greater ethical care.” (2021).
Dodd, S., 2021. The Ethics of Documenting Your Own Family. [Online] Available at: https://witness.worldpressphoto.org/the-ethics-of-documenting-your-own-family-7225ca8bd59a [Accessed 11 June 2021].
Mackay, K., O’Brien, K. & Coates, J., 2021. The Other: On class in the industry [Interview] (26 May 2021).
Twemlow, N., 2021. Communities and Communication Conference 2021: Connections. Staffordshire, Staffordshire University.