Not everywhere has the privilege of the kind of resources students in the Netherlands and Switzerland can draw upon, of course. But among those profiled in this special issue are colleges and initiatives with a distinctly DIY approach. Blank Paper School in Madrid began as a co-operative endeavour by a bunch of Spanish visionaries, created out of a perceived lack in the education system. The lecturers and students who have taught and learnt there over the past nine years reads like a roll call of the new generation of Spanish photographers currently taking the world by storm (The Spanish Are Coming, issue #7826).
And the International Summer School of Photography has quietly established itself with one of the world’s most formative workshop programmes, despite its location in a remote corner of northeastern Europe. Closer to home, the Belfast School of Art has developed a worldwide reputation for its documentary courses under the guidance of professor Paul Seawright and the conviction that a new generation of photographers should redress the balance of how Northern Ireland is depicted and understood.
In addition to our pick of the best of this year’s graduates from colleges in UK and Ireland (the first of three issues in which we’ll showcase new talent in our Projects section), and our survey of the best Compact System Camera gear, we talked to Wendy Ewald, one of the great pioneers of photography education. As ever, she is full of insight as to the value and importance of learning. “One of my pet peeves is people who think you can just send somebody who has no photography education and ‘innocent’ eyes into the world with a camera and that they’ll come back with great images,” she tells Laurence Butet-Roch, who visited her at her home in upstate New York. “They might get lucky and get one or two shots, but in that case it’s the camera that’s taking the picture. To be able to make conscious images that communicate what you want is an another ballgame entirely, one that requires technical knowledge, thought and intent – all of which can, and should, be taught.”
This issue is available from the BJP shop.
Check here for our latest discount subscription offers.