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CRIT-GEOG-FORUM  September 2011

CRIT-GEOG-FORUM September 2011

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Subject:

Re: photographs in public places in UK

From:

Jonathan Cloke <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Jonathan Cloke <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 6 Sep 2011 16:35:58 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (197 lines)

And then there's that thing called the BBC, which is a publicly-owned institution that recklessly takes 'street photos' of the public and wantonly indulges in the use of photography and video in a public place...

A publicly-funded institution taking recordings of the public that own it in a public place that they also own?!

It shouldn't be allowed!!

Dr Jon Cloke
Lecturer/Research Associate
Geography Department
Loughborough University
Loughborough LE11 3TU

Office: 01509 228193
Mob: 07984 813681


Hi David, Tina, and others for comments on this. It useful set of ideas
about using photography video in public space etc

I just point out that some of the great artworks of the 20th c were the
'street photos' of people like Cartier-Bresson. These were often very up
close, intimate and revealing of 'the-person-in-moment'. I assume permission
was not gained before or after those works taken then circulated
(eventually) very widely.

(The same must go for all the photos in a book like Colin Ward's the Child
in the City) (And Parr's work)

David, as an artist, what is you response?

(not saying 'research' and 'art practice' are the same politically and
ethically - but a comparative consideration is of interest)

cheers

Dr Owain Jones

Senior Research Fellow:  Countryside & Community Research Institute /
Contact Details
Publications: Academia.edu/OwainJones
Chair:  Royal Geographical Society  Research Group on Children Youth and
Families
Associate Editor:  Journal of Children's Geographies
Committee:  Royal Geographical Society  Social and Cultural Geography
Research Group
Associate: Land2
Visiting Fellow: School of Arts and Social Sciences, Northumbria University

Priston Festival


Mobile: 07871 572969


-----Original Message-----
From: A forum for critical and radical geographers
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of David Crouch
Sent: 06 September 2011 11:03
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: photographs in public places in UK

Hi
it is funny that discussions like these tend to work around notions of
power, control, `state work/oppression/suppresion`- such is paranoia.

and hardly bother to sense the feelings of individuals, families, etc etc,
who may feel uneasy about being photographed, for a whole raft of reasons.
David

________________________________________
From: A forum for critical and radical geographers
[[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Matt Collins
[[log in to unmask]]
Sent: 05 September 2011 16:59
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: photographs in public places in UK

Hi,

There's a whole host of issues here, of course. To pick out a few...

Informed consent - whilst the vast majority of research works on this
model (imported, seemingly, from the medical sciences), you simply can't
get informed consent from everyone if you're doing research in public
spaces. Indeed, some universities have a clause in their ethics policy
which reflects this (as mine did when I did my PhD), allowing you to do
your research without trying to get informed consent from an entire
city. In light of this, we have to ask ourselves whether or not our
photographs can reasonably be expected to cause "harm" to those people
in them, and proceed on that basis. And as Paul Williams just wrote,
whether they may be exploiting the vulnerable. I would say that most of
my research pictures - shots of crowds with some individuals
distinguishable - could not be reasonably expected to cause any harm at
all. I would also argue that if you want to take a picture of an
individual for your research (close-up), then you ought to ask
permission - there's much more likelihood of causing distress there.

The right to withdraw from research - I don't see that this can be
expected to apply to research on public spaces in the same way as other
research. I would say that we have to accept, as a society, that to be
in public means to appear before others (which is different from
accepting state surveillance, which has no mutuality of appearance, a
very different power relation). The only proviso I would add is that I'm
assuming you're not going to be working to identify people in your
pictures without their knowledge. Equally, if someone asks you to delete
a photo, then do so. Whilst you can reasonably expect that photography
won't cause 'distress', if it does, delete the picture and move on.

Of course, the deeper issue here is that of what being "in public"
means, which is perhaps a whole other debate.

I think it's probably unfair to say that you can grab a camera and do
what you like, at least in my experience. These are issues that will
still be raised in the ethics review, with broad rules of behaviour
subsequently set, but I think the best way to deal with them is to be
sensitive to and observant of other's feelings when you're doing the
actual research, on the ground. I've had some quite positive responses
from the general public when taking photos in public space - people
interested in what I'm doing or just happy to see someone taking an
interest. I wonder if this is in part due to the fact that I was mainly
operating outside London. Its levels of paranoia do seem to be markedly
higher than those of other cities. I've actually never had a
confrontation whilst taking pictures in public, and I wouldn't want
others to be put off from it as a research method. I also wouldn't want
to see the mission creep of the ethics boards destroy a valuable
approach to cities and public spaces because it doesn't fit a standard
model. I think as long as we're sane and sensitive about what we're
doing we shouldn't worry.

All the best,

Matt-

On 05/09/11 16:14, David Crouch wrote:
> Hi
>
> in view of the manic ethical procedures for research practie in every
other field [largely a v good thing] it is astounding that you can grab a
camers and do what you like.
>
> interesting, worrying, worth a good debate- at least I`d hope
professional-crit geographers would exercise good ethics
> David
> ________________________________________
> From: A forum for critical and radical geographers
[[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Deb Ranjan Sinha
[[log in to unmask]]
> Sent: 31 August 2011 10:51
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: photographs in public places in UK
>
> while i am no lawyer, it should be OK according to this guideline:
>
> *Members of the public and the media do not need a permit to film or
> photograph in public places and police have no power to stop them
> filming or photographing incidents or police personnel.*
>
> http://www.met.police.uk/about/photography.htm
>
>
> On Tue, Aug 30, 2011 at 6:40 PM, Adefemi Kingsley Adekunle
> <[log in to unmask]>  wrote:
>
>> Does this apply to being stoppend and searched by the police?  Can you
>> photo an officer who does that to you?
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