Field Photography Conference: Between Fabula and Facticity: Documentary Photography, Storytelling and Perceptions of Place.

Where: Media Factory – Creative Innovation Zone
When: Wednesday 14th November – 9:30am-4pm

The DIY Testimony: Negotiating the Public Field of Aerial Vision with Hagit Keysar

This talk analyzes the political potentials of a do-it-yourself (DIY) aerial photography technique using balloons and kites, which was developed by the Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science (Public Lab) for purposes of environmental activism. This study, however, shifts away from the focus on environmental evidence and examines the use of DIY aerial photography in resisting political and spatial colonization. It focuses on two case studies in Israel/Palestine that demonstrate the use of Do-It-Yourself (DIY) aerial photography with balloons and kites as visual testimonies for articulating and asserting rights abuse in struggles over land, space and place. The distinctive politics of the DIY testimony will be presented here vis-à-vis other forms of aerial testimonies and unpacked through its particular experimental, embodied and performative qualities. This talk argues for the exploration of and experimentation with the potentials of civic technoscience as a way of materializing counter-dominant visual practices in human-rights activism. Furthermore, it will expand on DIY engagement as a participatory research methodology that opens opportunities for alternative forms of knowledge co-production by means of experimental technological practice and engagement.


This year’s speakers include;

photo-meHagit Keysar

Hagit lives and works in Israel/Palestine, her research is practice-based and brings together visual work, activism and critical theory. She completed her PhD at the Politics and Government Department, Ben Gurion University, Israel; in her thesis, titled: “Prototyping the Civic View From Above: Do-It-Yourself Aerial Photography in Israel-Palestine”, she critically examined the political potential of civic/community science and open-source practices in situations of civic inequalities and human rights violations, focusing on the use of Do-It-Yourself aerial photography techniques. Hagit completed her MA with distinction from the Granada Centre for Visual Anthropology in the University of Manchester (UK) and BA in Fine Arts from the Bezalel Academy for Arts and Design, Jerusalem.


Fiona Shields, Head of Photography at the Guardian

Fiona has over twenty years’ picture editing experience across a range of newspaper titles, was picture editor of the Guardian for nine years before taking up the role of Head of Photography for the Guardian News and Media Group. Throughout her career she has been involved in the coverage of some of the most historic news stories of our time including the events surrounding 9/11 and the subsequent terror attacks in London and across Europe, conflicts around the world from Bosnia to Iraq and Afghanistan, the revolution of the Arab spring and the continuing violence in the middle east, large-scale natural disasters such as the earthquakes in Haiti, tsunamis in southern Asia, famine in Sub-Saharan Africa and the humanitarian crises resulting from the growing refugee numbers across the globe. Also a good few UK general elections and political change and upheaval worldwide.

In addition, she has delivered talks at photo festivals, taken part in mentoring programmes for students of photojournalism and has enjoyed judging the Sony World Photography Awards, the UK Picture Editors Guild Awards, the Renaissance Photography Prize to name a few. Last year she was on the jury of the esteemed Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize and is a regular nominator for the world famous Prix Pictet Award.

Chris Leslie

Chris Leslie, BAFTA New Talent Award Winning Photographer and Filmmaker

Leslie has documented stories across Eastern Europe, The Balkans, Africa and Asia as well as in his home city of Glasgow. His project and bestseller photo book, Disappearing Glasgow documents the changing face of Glasgow has seen him acknowledged as the most consistent chronicler of the city’s recent history.