The report from The Democratic Image – Photography and Globalisation held in Manchester last April covered this groundbreaking event that sought to investigate how digital technology was aiding representation in a connected world.
My initial invite came out of the blue after a listener to my podcast recommended me to one of the ‘Look 07‘ organisers. Before I knew it I was giving a talk on Photography and New Media to some seriously influential movers in the world of photography and journalism. Pedro Meyer of Zone Zero and Geert Van Kesteren the Magnum Photographer behind Why Mister Why were amongst the many that left a lasting impression on me. (In the photo above.)
I didn’t blog my experiences at the time as the moment it ended I was continuing further north to commence an expedition by canoe down the river Spey in Scotland. Once at the end of that successful trip I was back in the thick of work and assignments.
Now it seems I can summerise by means of clipping my mention and linking the whole report below. Please take the time to read what Redeye do as Britain’s largest photographers network.
NOTES ON THE BLOG In collaboration with The Photographers’ Gallery and hosted at openDemocracy.net (http://thedemocraticimage.opendemocracy.net), The Democratic Image blog launched on 11 April and posed the following question: Time magazine has voted you `The Person of the Year’ for `seizing the reins of the global media, for founding and framing the new digital democracy, for working for nothing and beating the pros at their own game’. As a `pro’, what is your take on the democratisation of art and media in the digital age? First to respond was Christian Payne, the blogger and podcaster behind OurManInside.com, who thanked Time `for the recognition’ and the `corporate media […] for making me switch off, for making me sick at heart, for making me angry’. Thanks to them, he turned to his computer `to get a bearing on some kind of meaningful truth’. For Payne, the Internet revolution counters the mediation of Big Media, allowing `diversity’ and `a deeper, wider, discourse’ that has enabled him, in his words, to `make up my own mind’. Switched on again, Payne became a blogger, primarily of images. More than that, the medium inspired him to self-finance a journey to Northern Iraq in 2006, video-podcasting a photo-documentary about the Kurdish Peshmerger warriors under the title of `Those Who Face Death’.Payne is very clear of the political importance for image makers like him of increasingly accessible new media, which in his view `are reviving our dwindling hopes for genuine freedoms’. But he is equally clear that the only alternative to corporate mediation for the new `pros’ striving for these freedoms is an alliance with other bloggers, podcasters, and other internet users, in which new work can be mutually financed and supportively criticised online. This raises the issues of the blurring between image makers and audiences, and of how cooperative might the Internet be. What structures might enable real collaboration beyond the much celebrated interactivity touted by the corporations behind the Internet? And to what extent are corporate interests foreclosing the emergence and maintenance of truly democratic internet use that might conflict with their values?
If you would like to read the whole report.. Please click here.