The Global Photographies Network (GPN) is a network of professional photographic organisations and educational institutions dedicated to expanding and fostering transnational discourse in contemporary photography. UCT Photography have been working with colleagues at the Falmouth School of Art, The Slade School of Fine Art University College London (UCL), Camberwell College of Art, Leeds Arts University, Westminster University, Universidad Nacional de las Artes, Buenos Aires & Universidad de Palermo, Buenos Aires, Akademin Valand in Gothenburg and others to create a new international network for sharing emerging photographic practice and meeting practitioners from all over the world.
In 2021 several of our students have been taking part in a Photobook programme led by Ana Casa Bodas of Hydra, a photographic education and publishing platform in Mexico and Svea Josephy from Michaelis. We also had workshops with invited guests such as book publisher, Lucas Birk. UCT students entered into critical dialogue about photography and photobooks with students from Mexico, Argentina, Iran, Dubai, UK, Rwanda and South Africa in this rich and exciting programme. The students were MFA students Nobukho Nqaba, Nicole Fraser, Jean Claude Nsabimana, 4th years Ashraya Naidoo and Ella Chappé De Leonval and recent alumna Ranji Mangcu. We met online on many nights to facilitate people working in different parts of the globe.
We also held bookbinding workshops locally, delivered by Nicole Fraser and facilitated by Svea Josephy, where Jean Brundrit also came and spoke about her book making journey. Sitaara Stodel provided her technical and organisational skills to help us make our first photobooks. In addition, UCT’s contribution to the project was the production of two excellent videos by former students Gemma Carosin and Lauren Theunissen, where they showed their photobooks and discussed the book making process.
At the end each student who took part produced their own unique photobook, which is being sent to London in order to be archived in the UCL Library Small Press Collections, which holds important examples of artists’ independent radical publishing.
This project was funded by the Slade School of Art, UCL and huge thanks go Sarah Pickering of UCL and to Ana Casa Bodas of Hydra.