After thinking my ideas through, I decided on the “Old People” project for my first semester.
Out of all the ideas it is the one I have clear the most, not just what I want to explore but also how to do it and use the medium of photography in a creative way. The other ideas have potential too, but I still don’t quite know how to transform that potential into a substantial project. Something to think about for next term!
Here are the W’s for my first project:
Who? – It involves me and old people (with old I mean over the age of 70)
What? – I will ask old people on the street a couple of questions (I will work out a questionnaire beforehand) then make them take a selfie, these will be put onto a social media site that is based on images like Instagram or Tumblr, so it becomes a collection of pictures available openly to the public (# included). I’m aiming at a collection of 20-40 images, but the more the better really. I hope to transform the issues explored into a playful project.
Why? – I want to explore if and how old people engage with new technologies, what they think about it, how they perceive young people and their use of phones and what they think about immediacy and the constant self-representation. I assume many old people just don’t bother about catching up with technology still, I’m sure, they have an opinion about it and also the fact that a lot of the global discourse is happening online and they are obviously excluded from it.
When? – The project will be undertaken until December, with the first weeks being spent on readings (!) and working out a questionnaire to get more insight into the topic and work out questions that are interesting and inspired by the theories I have come across in my reading. Then the project will be taken onto the streets, I will approach old people over a period of aprox. 1.5 months to gather enough images. These will be uploaded immediately onto the social network site. I will also do a couple of test-shoots in the first weeks, without the proper questionnaire worked out yet, just to see how people respond and how “easy” it is to get the elderly to take an image of themselves.
Where? – On the streets of Bristol (or possibly other places I go to visit)
How? – Using a smartphone (preferably an iPhone as it has a button to press instead of just a touch screen and the image quality is good), face-to-face communication and social networks such as Tumblr or Instagram
I have signed up to Tumblr and downloaded Instagram on my phone now to get to grips with these two platforms (as I’m not using them atm) and learn how to essentially put a collection of images together and tag them accordingly. I will then decide which one I find more suitable for my project and try a few test-shoots.
On tumblr I have found a blog by a lady called “Granny Winkle”, who takes rather funny selfies!