Developing Photo Practice: Social Action and Institutions
We’ve seen how important it is for young people to hold on to the images they make and how difficult it is to insist that they are, first and foremost, materials which belong in school. It seems that the very motivation and interest that led to their production in the first place also demands that they are returned to the informal social context in which they were made. This is something we can understand from our own experience. But it also means that, as teachers, we have to come to terms with the fact that photographs of friends, relatives, objects and activities, can never be simply formalised as school-work without denying much of their active social character. It’s not on to claim the records of someone’s immediate social reality as an educational resource, to sit between the exercise books and the worksheets. However much we have wanted at times to ‘move work on’, to get a mountain of snaps ordered and arranged to prove to the students, the school, or maybe our frustrated selves, that a record is being made or a text constructed, we’ve had to remind ourselves of this or ignore it at our peril.
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