Throughout the so-called “refugee crisis” we have seen how photography can be a powerful tool in shaping public perceptions of “what is going on”, which in turn effects public opinion, political discourse and institutional solutions (or the lack of them).
We believe that one necessary step in the path towards empathy and dialogue is to be presented with the full multidimensional story, not just the usual media portrayals of victims or threatening strangers.
This year we will facilitate the production and visibility of images of these people in transit from their own point of view. Also, we will multiply the effect of our work by compiling and sharing what we learn along the way.
- Participatory Photography workshops with migrants and refugees in Barcelona, Calais and Germany
- An interactive website / platform for dissemination and visibility of these kind of workshops, where the public can browse through different threads of images and stories
- Seminars aimed at fostering a learning community between people active in participatory photography and intercultural work with migrants and refugees (workshop leaders and participants, projects, activists, community leaders)
- A “good practices” guide about what we have learned
- A travelling exhibition of the products of participatory photography workshops with migrants and refugees, to be presented in Barcelona, Calais (April 2017) and Brussels (Sept 2017)
The project intends to be, above all, a tool for facilitating self-expression, dialogue and community. We aim to be an inclusive project and will try our best to be a welcoming environment for diversity.
We also intend to reflect on the “metadata” present when a picture is taken – cultural / ideological and iconographic filters, and situations of power/non power, and how these influence the photo’s impact and what it says.
To help this along we have grants from the Barcelona city hall and from Erasmus+. CFD undertakes this project in the hope of contributing towards better public discourses and ultimately policies.
Post-Transit Tales series of workshops and events / October 18-23 2016 / BCN
So let’s say we…
- Gather people from six different countries, in a diverse range of professions including – but not limited to – web developers, participatory photography workshop facilitators, and experts in communication against xenophobia
- Take them to CFD
- Stir for five days of seminars, a roundtable, the setup and inauguration of an exhibition, and 18 coffee breaks
All of this – and much more – has taken place during these days of Transit Tales workshops and events. A space built with many hands and many heads, prepared with enthusiasm, lived with intensity… and now it is over, like most good things in life, it has not been what we expected but something much more interesting.
We have focused on participatory photography processes, specifically how image can be used working WITH migrants and refugees. Whose voices are heard? To what end? What knowledge can be useful in these processes? What technologies? Such have been the questions we’ve been working on.
The final day while people were at the opening of the exhibition, looking at the pictures and the postcards, many were asking:
But these photos have been taken by refugees?
So can I write with this postcard to the person who made this photo?
(Answers: yes and yes.)
And we started discussing our motivation for organizing our blitz of this participatory photography series of events.
Having such a mix in the program, with activities for learning, for discussion, for public visibility and for informal exchange, is not an easy thing to hold together. But we have seen yet again how valuable it is to build such spaces; it is where people meet, knowledge and relationships are built… and where sometimes the mere mix of backgrounds forces you out of your comfort zone and into the land of surprise, where the most valuable lessons can be found.
We all can see how everyone starts from very different ways of working and needs, and somehow the path towards the whole is managed, with remarkable results. Thus was the case with this Transit Tales series-of-workshops-and-events. We started with the anxiety of the unknown, and we take away a gift of new and good friendships, and a treasure of shared knowledge.
Thanks to everyone who made it possible!
MORE INFOS : http://cfdbarcelona.com/en/proyectos/transit-tales/