PhotoEx Symposium Case Study - On Long-Distance Collaboration: “After the Storm”

The third annual Photography, Expanded Symposium kicked off with a quote from Nelson Mandela:

Our human compassion binds us the one to the other - not in pity or patronizingly, but as human beings who have learnt how to turn our common suffering into hope for the future.

Wendy Levy, Director of the National Alliance for Media Arts and Culture, began the day with a call for deep collaboration: “Today’s programming is about inspiring What Ifs! We’re looking for new ideas– for a bright spark to get you to reframe or rethink of reimagine your own work in the context of community. Today is about collaboration and innovation.” She continued, “We’re going to look at storytelling inside social movements and inside culture to question the ways in which we can embed our stories more deeply. We’re going to look at how we can open up our work to the marginalized– not to give voice, but to share voice.”

Collaboration remained the dominant theme of the day as presenters articulated the importance of partnerships between storytellers, designers, technologists, educators and activists, as well as the communities and individuals represented. From presentations on technological advances in media-making to panel discussions on the opportunities and challenges present in our contemporary media environment, each speaker touched upon the power of interdisciplinary dialogue.

This theme was central to the first case study of the day, After the Storm by filmmaker Andrew Beck Grace and designer Alex Wittholz of Helios Design Labs. Their presentation offered invaluable insights into the process of long-distance teamwork and on the importance of having the shared goal of utilizing emerging technologies to express a powerful story.  

Please stay tuned as we share more videos and highlights from the 2015 Photography, Expanded Symposium. To learn more about the Photography, Expanded initiative, please visit our website.

Simone Salvo