Here are some iPhone shots of a number of books I have bought and read prior to my visit. There are also a couple of tickets to museums that formed part of my research. Please note this is an ongoing project and I will return and learn more.
Page 4 of the book which is immediately below states “photographing in Auschwitz-Birkenau museums is strictly forbidden”.
Below are a number of online resources used in my research and all appear in my references list.
Auschwitz-Birkenau (2017) Auschwitz-Birkenau, Available at: http://auschwitz.org(Accessed: 01/04/2017 – onwards).
Below, L (2017) Auschwitz The Holocaust Photos, Available at: http://www.deathcamps.info/Auschwitz/ (Accessed: 01/04/2017 – onwards).
Sawicki, P (2017) Auschwitz The Holocaust Photos, Available at: http://www.haaretz.com/world-news/europe/1.763453 (Accessed: 01/04/2017).
Pitogo, H (2014) Auschwitz The Holocaust Photos, Available at: https://www.warhistoryonline.com/war-articles/nazis-auschwitz-man-named-wilhelm-brasse.html (Accessed: 01/04/2017 – onwards).
What kinds of subjects can be classed as unseen?
- drug addicts/alcoholics/drop-outs
- socially deprived people
- food banks
- the poor
- the sick
- the disabled
- police brutality
- mental health
- the truth
- unbiased photographs
- concentration camps e.g where some of this is off-limits to the public
- the past
- my mother
How do you go about photographing the unseen.
- research the subject
- see how it has been done before, it is has and think how you will do it in your style
- apply for permission, be honest, be open and be prepared to accept rejection
- believe in what you want to do, so others will have your conviction
- pursue your dream with vigour
- highlight the benefit of your project to the owner/person responsible
- be confident in what you want
- have an understandable goal that others can see and understand
This is a project I have had on the go for many months and now is the time to use this for my degree. I feel this also fits in with Peter Mansell’s views regarding his own studies.
There were 2 choices for this part
- photographing the unseen
- using props
The choice was easy for me. Photographing the unseen was the way forward.
Below are some crib sheets used prior to writing up the assignment. All shot on the hoof with my iPhone.
Below is my letter of authority from the Curator of the Auschwitz museum, granting me permission to photograph the un-photographable. Oswiecim is the Polish name for Auschwitz. The name Auschwitz was given to it by the Nazis as Oswiecim was too hard to pronounce!
Peter Mansell, Dewald Botha and Jodie Taylor.
The above three have all produced work that is personal to them and that is the common link and theme. Yet the narrative and the context of how this unfolds is different.
Peter’s work resonates with me, as a number of years ago, I was unable to walk and was told I would never work again.
I am particularly interested in his thoughts of creating images that give an impression of claustrophobia and compression. This is something that has value to him and something that he continued to explore during his OCA course. He also encourages other students to do the same and this has struck a chord with me. At the moment there are 3 photographic interests of mine. One is Auschwitz, the second is mental health issue and the third one is the Greek Orthodox Church. The common link to these three is me as I have a personal interets in Auschwitz, have experienced mental health issues and I am a Greek Orthodox Christian.
I will therefore try to progress my interests as I progress.
Photographically, this is where I have been for the last few weeks, which has moved my concentration off my degree for a short spell. Varied and interesting is how I would describe it.
I have also been sorting out my website and setting up my Facebook business page.
Please have a look around both.
My work is also now on a number of websites and Facebook pages a few of which are below.
Please note that the following poem has been written by myself as I felt the need to do so, given my chosen subject and my interest in the topic. The topic will be further developed and form part of my assignment. My thoughts on my next assignment have changed as this will become apparent as I type up my blog.
Ignorance is not bliss.
Auschwitz is a place like no other.
The senseless killing,
of many a father, son, daughter and mother.
Around the place, sounds and nature can be described as dull.
Not surprising really,
with murder and torture enjoyed to the full.
The immense fields,
that were once wet, pleasant and green.
It’s hard to imagine the cruelty,pain and suffering they have seen.
It’s wrong for this place to remain unseen,
and for anyone to be a holocaust denier.
To be one of those,
simply means you are a heartless liar.
How can I know,
well I’ve seen it and I’ve been there?
with all my heart I really care.
God Bless the victims,
and grant their souls the rest they need.
It must never be allowed to happen again.
WE MUST ALL TAKE HEED.
Having written this poem myself I have read it over and over. It conjures up the sad faces of the victims, gaunt, starved, batter, bruised, defeated and dehumanised. These faces and people were also unseen by the world for years, even they we knew what was going on in the KLs. (KL is the official designation for the concentration camp. It stands for Konzentrationslager)
The incarcerated were treated as inhuman and the person inside was nearly always unseen.
The camp was once so full, of the living, the living dead and the dead. Now it is full of souls and full of emptiness, but there is hope. 2 million visitors attended the museum in 2016 and there are signs of life coming back. There are birds there and some wild flowers and other signs of wildlife. However the emerging signs of life feel somewhat dulled and empty.
I have chosen to portray only four images for this exercise as I am going to use a number of images from my set for my assignment.
The images will assist in the telling of the story and there are many more that could be used. For me, in my opinion less is more with this exercise, given my chosen subject. They are all poignant, they all add to the context and contribute to the narrative in the poem.
Great to be working with you on your CAN module, well done for submitting the first
assignment and making an encouraging start. We discussed your submission and
learning log in a Google Hangout tutorial on 19/04/2017. Key points discussed are
summarized below through a combination of Tutor and Student notes.
You may want to get credit for your hard work and achievements with the OCA by
formally submitting your work for assessment at the end of the module. More and more
people are taking the idea of lifelong learning seriously by submitting their work for
assessment but it is entirely up to you. We are just as keen to support you whether you
study for pleasure or to gain qualifications. Please consider whether you want to put
your work forward for assessment and let me know your decision when you submit
Assignment 2. I can then give you feedback on how well your work meets the assessment
Feedback on assignment
Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Quality of Outcome, Demonstration of
• Portfolio box presentation adds a professional touch and protects prints from damage
• Prints were consistent in treatment (borders, colour balance, full frame, as in no
inconsistent cropping of ratio) – maintain and keep furthering your attention to detail.
• Ensure presentation fits with your intentions – images were meant to be viewed in
pairs – send them in that order
• Experiment with printing and the pairing idea, may be place side by side on a
panoramic ratio paper, would be ok to fold for tutor to see as long as explained, for
assessment however, you might want to invest in a flat sleeve. Also consider paper stock
when folding and where you score the paper to avoid crumpling or creating an untidy
• Consider labeling prints on reverse, we discussed details and formatting, keeping
simple and building consistency and an identity.
• Captions – be consistent and check captions for the second set (industrial) as these
are all the same at present
• I think your inspiration for this work is interesting, coming from literature and your
previous work (could you have perhaps included some of Braggi’s words from the book
Everytown? Any particular phrases or statements that stood out to you or inspired
specific image or subject choices?)
• I can see your intentions with focusing on the contrast between the rural and
industrial, as this is clearly very evident in a place such as Rotherham with it’s industrial
history. Your contact sheets show your exploration of various sites, which for you
epitomize the contrasts the area has to offer. You’re also considering materials, surface
and function in these images, for example we get to see the contrast between brick and
metal, between stone walls and wire fences. However, if hoping to refine the work
further, I’d suggest experimenting further with the placing of the contrasts and
similarities within each pair. What else could you do to assert your own views or
ideological position on these contrasting environments? Is the industrial taking over or
‘more powerful’ than the rural in Rotherham in your opinion? How are they at odds with
each other? Are there any other ideas which could run as undercurrents through the
work? Also – are there other ways to bring pairs together, not just in the subject matter,
the top line composition elements and colour? E.g. could you subtly show vehicles in the
rural, vehicles in the industrial? Paths and roads in the industrial, desire lines or
ploughed crops (creating a pathway through a field) in the rural OR make the similarities
in the images even more alike, to really emphasise the differences… could walls or roads
be in the same place, lead the same way, within the frame and buildings or objects
framed with the same depth or placement?
• This obviously would take more time, and potentially more time than you have here,
but would be the kinds of considerations that I think would translate well into any future
project and approach to an assignment. I would say that potentially the pairs could do
with being more alike, in terms of composition/perspective and environment in order to
make those subtle observations and the intention even clearer.
• Lastly, whilst the introduction of the fences in the very close foreground works in
terms of offering variety, immersing the viewer in the experience of the industrial site,
consider whether they are jarring with the rest of your style of landscapes and what the
contrast actually is that they are offering. For example if you had managed to get in
closer for Failed Corn or fill the frame with foreground stalks, as if it were a fence or
barrier, could that have worked paired with Hellaby Industrial Estate image 1?
Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Demonstration of Creativity
Spend some time before the next assignment working on the navigation of the blog and
assigning posts to the appropriate places. On the surface this is shaping up well, but the
lack of drop down menus will slow viewing down and make it very difficult to find all the
evidence of the full breadth of your work.
On blog under assignment heading use sub-titles eg assignment planning & research,
initial submission, reflection and rework.
Continue to use the Harvard Referencing System for citing images, quotes and
Context, reflective thinking, critical thinking, analysis
• It More independent research and analysis of images beyond that which is presented
in the handbook would have benefitted this assignment.
• Dawn Woolley’s posts on adverts are strong examples of the structure and depth to
which we can analyse images, their context and potential meaning. Here’s the first
one in the series: http://weareoca.com/photography/looking-at-adverts-1/
• When conducting independent research, avoid excessive quantity over quality. Spend
time identifying relevant work and prioritise artists, which directly relate to chosen
subject matter, ideas or technical approaches you are experimenting with. Develop a
consistent depth of analysis throughout – if it helps, set yourself a baseline
framework, so that you always cover key areas of analysis.
Context, reflective thinking, critical thinking, analysis
• Look to see if it is possible to remove the ‘older posts’ button at the bottom of each
page, this seems to occur after only a few posts and is better if viewers are able to
scroll for longer, looking back over past posts without having to click onto new pages
• Differentiate between independent research and course material content – we
discussed ways to do this, including placing assignment-specific research within your
assignment planning drop-down menu and coursebook related exercises and research
points within coursework.
• Add further evidence of editing process and decision-making; eg document print
selection with photography of prints laid out in various sequences etc. Where books
are reviewed, take photos of pages of interest or open spreads that illustrate your
points or opinion
Explore sources such as those below, to discover the work of other photographers in
addition to those in the course reading list. Join mailing lists, follow social media
platforms to hear about events, developments and discussions in photography.
European Prospects – http://europeanprospects.org/artists
– visual database of European photographers nominated from institutions and
experts from all over the continent.
Conscientious Extended – a great resource, particularly to help think more about
photography and communication, rather than just as a means to create pictures.
The Guardian’s photography pages:
Hotshoe International: http://www.hotshoeinternational.com
Source Photographic Review: http://www.source.ie
1000 Words Photography online magazine http://www.1000wordsmag.com
British Journal of Photography: http://www.bjp-online.com/
Image Makers, Image Takers (publication) by Anne-Celine Jaeger
Introduces you to a wide range of photographers working across a range of genres,
interviews with them regarding technique and major projects
You mentioned being drawn to ideas of the unseen and health – consider what defines
something as being unseen? This doesn’t have to be literal, but a catalyst for your
imagination… what about under-representation and marginalization, people, things or
issues that are ‘unseen’ in society or ignored.
Martina Mullaney – Turn In (photographs made in night shelters and homeless hostels)
Peter Granser – Alzheimer (be sure to also read the introduction)
Mishka Henner – Dutch Landscapes, 2011
Also, you could consider that which lies behind a façade, whether of a person or a
building or site…Edgar Martins – Time Machine
Pointers for the next assignment / assessment
Try to put in place at least two or three developments outlined above when researching,
planning and producing Assignment 2. Try to conduct any re-work and uploading of
additional planning notes for A1 as soon as possible and try to have all content from the
initial submission is uploaded/tagged appropriately so it can also be checked at A2.