by David Iglésias Franch (CRDI). img. courtesy CRDI.
Last October 24, the Center for Image Research and Dissemination (CRDI) in Girona organized a memories workshop on family photography that is part of the Fifties in Europe Kaleidoscope project, which is focused on European photography of the 50s. The workshop was driven by Susanna Muriel, a specialist in family photography.
The workshop had a very good response among the participants. They worked on the description and conservation of photography, and also on the narratives, that were created from an oral history exercise.
The first part, more theoretical, was based on the idea that family photography was born to be used. The teacher showed different marks that a photograph of this type can present. These photographs can be cut, folded, painted, written, etc., in short, signals that explain us their use and why we can see these degradations patterns.
The second part was more participatory. From the photographs selected by each participant, they learned to read photographs on both sides, the content and the back, where we can find additional information. The photographs were distributed among the participants and each one described, in an objective way, one of the images of one of the classmates. Subsequently, the owner of the photograph explained what he had represented and why he had selected it.
Finally, the participants who carried their albums and family photo boxes showed them to the rest and the teacher gave them some guidelines on how they should be kept properly, since most containers used acid materials, one of the worst enemies for the preservation of the photographs. As an alternative, we showed different examples of how to organize and keep a family album, with different options: polypropylene, polyethylene or polyester sheets, with different pockets, or cardboard sheets, that allow mixing different formats in one page. Many possibilities but always using adequate materials for the preservation of photographs.
Next step, and based on the workshop, it will be to create a methodology that could be useful to anyone organizing a memories workshop using photography as a resource. The final result will be an audiovisual that will be part of the MOOC created in the framework of this project.