Sustainable Prospects – Amsterdam Group Micro Project
During the Face-to-face event in Amsterdam, we were assigned groups to work in for a micro project.
Our brief was:-
Each group had to prepare and present a microproject and respond to feedback.
Intent of the project should be defined and agreed
Each group should present a coherent and cohesive body of work
The group should edit and present the work together
There were four groups:-
Robert Frank group (my group)
The group names were linked by a connection to Rolling Stones album covers.
As a group, we suggested ideas for the intent, before quickly agreeing on our theme. We decided to seek inspiration from Robert Frank, who is best known for his work ‘The Americans’.
We agreed on a title of ‘Going Dutch’ and an intent to record life on the streets of Amsterdam. In the same way that the Dutch like to treat others as equals (and picking up on the meaning of the term going Dutch), we agreed that it would be fine if the images contained people who were Dutch or who were tourists.
We also agreed that we should work in colour as opposed to the monochrome images that Frank produced. Colour would play to the strengths of the group members as well.
Each of us set off to interpret our intent in our own way, but in a way that would complement the rest of the group.
Images were shared and discussed in a WhatsApp group. This enabled decisions to made quickly and efficiently. I collated the images into a powerpoint which was easily converted to a pdf as instructed.
The images were collated in the reverse order of joining the course. Four cohorts were covered in the group members.
The final project reflected the occupants of Amsterdam as seen subjectively through the eyes of the group members. It does not pretend to offer a full and comprehensive view of the Dutch but rather offered an insight into how we viewed the people around us.
When presenting the work, I introduced the project and the intent. We allowed everyone time to view each image separately and without narration before each group member went through their images separately.
Yasmin recorded life as she saw it in Amsterdam. Lasma appeared in each of her images, with strangers being actively involved in the taking of the images. Matus chose to present issues faced by various groups in Amsterdam – scooters driving really fast and without helmets in the bicycle lanes and traditional delivery companies being bankrupted by Uber Eat. For me, the project was about characters in Amsterdam. My first image depicted 3 firemen relaxing and stretching between calls; my second showed a young man sat on his scooter texting on his phone and my third image portrayed some of the flamboyant clothing that I saw being worn on the streets.
As a group, we presented a cohesive project that fulfilled the intent we set out to achieve. Our images worked well together in the overall project and we were very happy with the outcome. We were all involved in the discussion and questions that followed the main presentation.
I really enjoyed working with other members of the course that I did not know before and that came from different cohorts. We worked really well together and there were no disagreements, just constructive and creative discussions.