“Photography is usually practised in the presence and with the assistance of several individuals, but its history and theory have been written as the story of single heroes — the photographers —and the technology and instruments they use.” - Ariella Azoulay
This week’s collaboration was challenging as well as rewarding. Our group was dynamic, open-minded, creative and considerate to our conflicting schedules and responsibilities outside. Each of us brought to the table something of notable relevance that contributed in making our zine project successful.
Our zine group formation began with Josie Purcell, MaryAnn Morris, Dayana Marconi, Ashley Truckey, Paul Peach and me. We established a Whatsapp group which enthusiastically shared thousands of messages, and over 118 media, links and docs during a six-day period. The Whatsapp chat was instrumental in laying the foundation and helping us to form an instant bonding of minds. Having established a connection, we went on to enhance our collaboration on a practical level by incorporating tools such as Canvas to participate in video conferences and links to other platforms like Sharepoint/One Drive. These collaborative apps enabled us to share InDesign. To publicise our zine we set up a Facebook page which attracted over a thousand likes from one post (thanks in part to the $10 we paid for advertising) as well as an Instagram page
The Facebook post that became a huge hit
Not taking advantage each other
The possibility is always there that one can inadvertently be taking advantage of a subject, participant or collaborator. As a collaborative group, we understood that it was impossible for everyone to allocate equal amounts of time on the project, as such our mood was one of quality, not quantity that defined our contributions.
Our 5 x 5 zine magazine format - tiny enough to fit in your bag and packed with fun pics
In regards to our respondents, those who submitted the images, we ensured that at least one image was included in our zine from all participants. We appreciated the time they dedicated to our project and acknowledged their contributions via our publication and online social media. While this project is a non-profit one, were we to consider the possibility of selling our zine, I would advocate that profits should be divided reasonably between the collaborators and participants. I am a big believer in sharing and equality in collaborative projects, as such while our group needed a leader, we have managed to lead at varying levels in different situations. Leadership During our #tohellwithtea crowdsourcing of images, our collective consideration was ensuring that our participants' images were ‘protected’, and we did not unwittingly expose them to a third party platform that would distribute or use their images outside of our intended purpose. This experience has highlighted the willingness of people to collaborate with each other despite the challenges of modern life. It’s wonderful to discover not all is lost from the old world.
AZOULAY, ARIELLA. Camera Obscura: Feminism, Culture, and Media Studies. Duke University Press.