A thing called Slow Journalism An increasing number of documentary photographers and photojournalists are developing their own projects, publications (in print or online) and exhibitions, through which they can tell a story that the regular – printed – media no longer has space for. These are often topical subjects that are barely or only superficially covered in the news, or subjects that (should) have been in the news for a longer period of time. what is slow journalism Characteristic of this way of working is the will (of the photographer) to look further than the immediate (hard) news. This makes it necessary to stay longer in a certain area, even though the world’s press may already have left. As a result the photographer not only continues to be an observer but also becomes a participant in daily life. Virtually no medium is still able to finance such an extended stay. The exception is NGOs, which can facilitate expensive trips, but a ‘double’ agenda may be the price. And if photographers succeed in producing the work, they are then faced with the problem of publishing. Magazines that were once synonymous with the ‘picture story’ have been closed down. The photographic essay in the media has practically disappeared. It now all has to be fast and cheap. Many journalists are resisting this trend; a growing group is finding ways to combat the superficiality that is the consequence of speed. They are developing new forms, often brushing up against the art world as a result, and looking for alternative ways of financing a book, an exhibition, an audiovisual production on the internet or a website dedicated to a single topic. More and more often the term ‘slow journalism’ is being applied to refer to this development. Slow Journalism (the project) explores this phenomenon. Does it really exist or is it just a fashionable word? Slowly but increasingly, museums and the cultural sector at large have taken on part of the social responsibility of displaying the results of these endeavours, Showing socially committed work under completely different formal circumstances (a museum space is radically different from a magazine article, not only as a medium but also in terms of how things shown in it are perceived by a viewer) requires a fundamental rethinking of its presentation. Who should be put in charge of this process? The curator and/or the photographer has to become an editor, a producer of a sometimes complex production with multiple designers (web, book, exhibition, even sound) and possibly other image- or filmmakers. This is a long way from the job of the classic museum curator, not to mention the conservator. It is not exactly the photographer’s job either.
And how will the photographers’ work be experienced by the visitor, the reader? Still as art-like documentary photography (documentary as a style rather than as a programme)? Can the inquiring photojournalist’s images live up to what the public expects to see in an (art) museum? Is the internet a suitable medium and will work also be ‘found’ there and valued, be considered reliable? At first glance, the internet offers an easily accessible platform (if nothing else, the interested viewer can find the sites) but using so-called multimedia technology to tell a story is also a skilled job. Output The research will culminate in an event and present installations from photographers who in the past have exhibited their – inquiring – journalistic photography in a meaningful way, published it in book form, or used the internet as a medium. Alongside this, a symposium will be organised to discuss the topic more elaborately. A book published on the theme will give more insight into the research process, as will conversations with actors in the field. Complementing these elements, a website will be launched and will function as a portal to slow journalism projects.
What are we looking for? 1) Projects made by documentary photographers (and other image-makers) which deal with slow journalism methods and presentation strategies (and in particular those presented successfully in books and museums and on websites). 2) Photographers who are currently working on projects which relate to slow journalism and deal with its issues. 3) Your own experiences – as a curator or editor - in dealing with these kinds of projects (e.g.: in producing a book, in curating an exhibition). 4) Projects which make extensive use of the internet, above all those that use it as a serious platform in itself (not just representing the work, a book or an exhibition). Contact: Iris Sikking T +31 299 315083 - email@example.com
SLOW JOURNALISM - various artists, photographers, filmmakers Pl atfor ms: EXHIBITION - BOOK - WEBSITE Availability: 2010 or 2011 - exact dates to be announced PA R A D O X c r e a t e s p ro j e c t s i n p h o t o g r a p h y, v i d e o a n d me d i a re l a t e d arts. The interaction between social, e c o n o m i c a n d t e c h no l o g i c a l c h a n g e i s c e n t r a l t o m o s t t h e ma t i c a n d m o n o g r a p h i c p r o j e ct s d e v e l o p e d . PA R A D O X ’ a c t i v i t i e s i n c l u d e t ra v e l l i n g exhibitions, film production, book and e l e c t r o n i c p u b l i s h i n g a n d o rg a n i s i n g w o r k s h o p s a n d s y m po s i u ms . F o r f u rt h e r i n f o : w w w. p a r a d o x . nl
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A thing called Slow Journalism