As of October the 13th, 2010 I'll be leading an undergraduate photography class entitled 'Photography and Narrative'. It's a ten week class and forms part of a new BA Degree course at Coventry University in the UK, a course that along with the Photographer Jonathan Shaw, I co-wrote.
My role is to consider how 21st Century Photographic Practice might be taught and to develop a relevant approach. From this we came up with the course's core tenet of the "development of a sustainable practice" (earth shattering, I know).
The notion being that, by making the course's philosophy a moving target it would respond, grow and evolve positively and continually. We understand that the people who will dictate what a Photographer will be in the 21st century aren't people like us - rather it will be the generations of digital natives that we would (ironically) be teaching. And so our notion was that we would enter into a community of shared learning where we shared our technical and artisanal experience whilst learning of how to apply these skills from the social and digital habits of our pupils.
And so, largely in keeping with this ethos I plan to open this class out freely, to the broader community of NewPhotographics, hence this post. There'll be no formal qualifications for anyone posting in via twitter, but neither is there pressure for the online student to do the whole class - drop in, drop out as you wish, the virtual door is open .... and the kettle is usually on.
Classes are always structured so as to pose difficult thematic problems at the outset, the resolutions of which will form a final submission. The structure of the course then forces the student through week by week problem solving to make early 'marks on the page' (so to speak) and in doing so (with peer support) solve the initial problems in their own manner, thereby developing their own practice.
There is no in-house aesthetic nor style and the modus operandi is inclusive - you just need an internet connection and a love of story telling.
The formal structure of the classes include lectures, seminars, technical instruction, visiting practitioners and site visits - these things will not all be available to the NewPhotographic participant, though as much of the content as possible will be published live, so enabling the virtual student to participate in the post lecture open forums and final submissions.
Hopefully see you soon.