June 17th, 2013
June 7th, 2013
May 21st, 2013
How many photographers let the subjects of their photos have a go at editing, I wonder? It’s something I thought about doing during my MA – I had some ideas of how it might work but never quite got around to it. Maybe I’ll find a way to experiment with this properly a later date – it would certainly produce a more collaborative result.
This week though I had an accidental crack at it, when I helped Ramona prepare a talk she’s going to be giving to Roma teenagers at a school. I took my laptop to her house and we went through my Lightroom catalogue which contains every shot – my work, their family photos and some of their mobile phone or Facebook pictures – in the now two-and-a-half year old project.
But whereas last time I only really showed her my picks and she selected from them – this time she got free reign over every folder, including all the many dud shots. She selected the 22 or so that she wanted and then I opened them in Bridge, where she told me the sequence she wanted. At this point I thought it might be worth recording some of this, and so shot some shaky video on my phone.
Her choices were interesting to me because they weren’t what I would have chosen – many, to me, are weak visually, or at least weaker than the versions that I have used until now, and a couple of them are her own shots from her phone. But of course she’s looking at them with a different intention – constructing her edit of her life as she wants to show it in a motivational talk.
May 6th, 2013
It’s been a few days of celebration – punctuated back at home by spurts of painting my office. Last week it was the surprise 6th birthday party of Latifa, the little daughter of Elvira, who has now been living in the UK for almost a year. Throughout the period where we worked on our book,Â Elvira and Me, the pair were separated, but one lovely spin-off of selling a few books was being able to help her finance a trip back to Romania to collect the girl. Latifa is doing brilliantly at school and almost speaks English like a Mancunian. This was the first birthday she had shared with her mum since 2009 so it was a special one for them both.
Then, yesterday, it was Orthodox Easter Sunday â€“ another big date in the family. Last year I visited the previous day when they were cooking but for some reason couldn’t make the day itself. This year I was told to come round for about 10.30am and much like Christmas Day we first went to visit Elvira’s relatives to eat from their Easter table. Having stopped eating meat, days like this – when practically every dish on the table contains flesh â€“ generally result in me eating my own body weight in cakes. Romanians have a tradition of dyed boiled eggs â€“ two of you bash your eggs together (the older person’s egg on top) while saying “Christ is risen!”…the person with the unbroken egg will apparently live longest. Wikipedia says this tradition exists in the UK as well but I’ve never heard of it. There was much dancing and we all then traipsed back to Elvira’s, where her relatives ate her food. Video is the only medium which really does justice to the dancing – at some point I will edit what I recorded as it’s pretty amazing. Â For more please check out my project site www.theromaproject.comÂ
March 20th, 2013
February 20th, 2013
February 11th, 2013
Middlesbrough, Homelands commission on a Czech Roma family. Please see my project site for more.
February 7th, 2013
I’ve just sent my once-in-a-blue-moon Roma project newsletter to update people on how it’s all going – a nice side effect being that it’s made me stop and appreciate how much has been achieved in the past year or so. If you didn’t receive it and would like to take a look please click here. And you can sign up for future updates here.
There’s plenty of new content to explore on my Roma project site, and I’ve produced a small photofilm on a new Roma collaborator – Petr – who has chosen a pretty unlikely career.