Photographing the City

One of the aims of Living in the Digital World is to encourage students to break free of common or stereotypical perceptions of the cityspaces which form the backdrop to their particular projects. Such perceptions are typically (and perhaps understandably given that these are the formal perceptions most cities wish us to experience) based around the ‘tourist gaze’ and focus on famous monuments, historic buildings and postcard vistas. A useful way for students to start viewing cities as complex and often contradictory places of social interaction informed by power-axes of history, population demographics, economics and industry, etc is to get them to think about and record visually the multiplicity of buildings within a city and how these speak about the character of the city.

In this context time was spent before the Christmas break introducing students to various photographic techniques in preparation for their field trips with the aim of getting students to see cities in unusual and revealing perceptions. Our first group has just returned from Bergen from the first leg of their field research and, with no prior photographic training or specialist skill have produced an impressive portfolio of photographs which are currently in the process of being archived.

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