A workshop with Philip Blenkinsop

Online Program

Date: Jul 25-Aug 02, 2020
Venue: Zoom


Giving form to photographic projects

A workshop with Philip Blenkinsop

This is an open call to photographers from across South Asia practising any genre of photography, to learn the process of editing and narrative building from master photographer Philip Blenkinsop, now based in France. 

The workshop is free of cost and participation is via application only. 

We encourage emerging photographers/photo artists who might not have produced their work in a book form to apply!

Please note that the goal of the workshop is not to have your complete work edited by Philip; rather the function is for you to explore the editing and narrative building process while benefiting from being able to experience the challenges and approaches of the other participants in the group with the feedback that those experiences dictate.

Submission criteria:

Please email your work to [email protected] with the subject line as <Your Full Name_Philip Blenkinsop Workshop>

Last date for application: 17 July, 2020

*Selected participants will be announced by July 20, 2020

Workshop Schedule for selected participants: 

From Philip Blenkinsop

?A student asked me a few weeks ago how important it was for photographers to be able to edit their own work.

Well the answer really depends on your aspirations, but, assuming that you are aiming high, then the answer is simple: it is imperative.

Sooner or later, as photographers, we all reach the point where we would like to create a book of our work, either for publication or, perhaps the more modest goal of creating an album which we can share with friends, family or peers or even a magazine editor; or perhaps an exhibition or catalogue or even an online presence such as a website.

We have the images, the result of perhaps several years (or more) of work; for many, putting them in a book is simply a matter of dropping them, first come-first served, onto white pages and admiring the finished result. 

The editing process and narrative building are inextricably linked. In terms of 'book-building' the processes are perhaps more important than the photography itself, in as much as it is possible to create an interesting narrative without necessarily having memorable photographs, while, even with the most memorable of images, it is possible, with poor editing and poor narrative skills, to completely bury the message of your work. 

Understanding how images can affect each other when juxtaposed, and change our interpretation of them is an extremely important and often overlooked skill; indeed the eternal pitfall for the novice is to place similar likenesses together, pairs that cancel each other out.

With building a narrative we are concerned with sequencing images which compliment each other and amount to more than the sum of their parts. 

Our time together, for some of you, is going to be a crash course in the understanding and creation of the narrative; for others with projects already well-passed the embryonic stages, it will be more about questioning what is already there and rethinking things where necessary.

One of our goals for the workshop is to shine a light on the editing process and look at how images react to each other, demystifying the process and bringing it within reach of you all.

We will be working in group sessions, and while there will be times for one-on-one critique, we will be doing everything openly. It is most likely that you will all be at different levels of proficiency and understanding, but this works excellently because each of you will be exposed to more than just your own case scenario and the feedback will be relevant to one and all.

Editing and the creation of the narrative is a skill which, like everything else in life, takes repeated practice, but if you have serious aspirations of creating a coherent and compelling body of work, it is a skill that must not be overlooked.

The great thing, just like learning to ride a bicycle, is the liberation one feels being able to freewheel where before we felt grounded.?

Workshop Requirements:

Supplies needed to facilitate your editing process during the workshop

Meet your Mentor

Philip Blenkinsop

In 1989, carrying two Leicas and a large cardboard box full of film, Blenkinsop arrives in Asia. He embraces its all-consuming chaos, the violence and the beauty that lurks beneath, the armed struggles being waged on forgotten fronts, on distant hilltops and in the remote jungles of South-East Asia; From East Timor to Nepal.

His experiences define him and in time it becomes his world.

With this, comes proximity to the people he documents, empathising to the point of assimilating the injustices suffered.

"To photograph rage, I must feel that rage. To photograph loss, I must try to feel the weight of that loss as if it were my own to bear."

"A man of guerrillas and of resistances", (Herve Le Goff), and "one of the most essential photographers of his generation" (Christian Caujolle), Blenkinsop's  uncompromising vision and commitment to the region has given birth to a contemporary body of work, at once remarkable and unparalleled.

A member of l'Agence VU from 1997 to 2007, Blenkinsop was one of the founding members of the prestigious Noor Photo Agency. He is an Honorary Fellow of Falmouth University in recognition of his services to photojournalism. He is an Emeritus Member of VII Photo Agency. 

In 2009, acclaimed film director David Bradbury released his 70-minute documentary on Blenkinsop and his work entitled ?My Asian Heart.?

Monographs include 'The Cars That Ate Bangkok,' (White Lotus) and 'Extreme Asie' (Nathan/Delpire-Photopoche).

Major awards include the Felix H Man Prize for his work on the suppression of the Pro-Democracy Movement in Thailand, The Grand Prix Photo Jean-Louis Calderon for his reportage on ethnic cleansing in Borneo, The Nuit des Yeux d'Or, the Prix Scam 'Roger Pic' and Amnesty International's Award for Investigative Journalism for his expose of the 'Secret War in Laos' and three-time recipient of the Visa d'Or for his work on Laos, the Indian Ocean Earthquake and Tsunami and the Great Sichuan Earthquake. 

Blenkinsop sits on the advisory boards of the Program for Narrative and Documentary Practice at The Institute for Global Leadership, Tufts University, USA and Photo Kathmandu Festival in Nepal.

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