Off Site: 10 January - 21 February 2015
The project was created by cultural analyst Inanna Riccardi and SixtyEight at the request of SixtyEight, in order to thank our previous neighbourhood, Amager East, which hosted the gallery for the first four years of its existence. The project aimed to gain a better understanding of what home means for young people living in Amager who have a multifaceted cultural background.
Home may be located in a routine set of practices, in a repetition of habitual social interactions, in styles of dress, in spending time with one person, in a physical place and much more. The participants were invited to unfold the untold story of their lives contained by the concept of home. While representing home and its concepltual extentions, the youngsters found themselves in a secure and known environment, which gave them the opportunity to investigate and reflect upon their identity. An identity that is in the process of becoming, both due to the age of the participants, and because they live in between two cultu- res: the one represented by their family, and the one they are immersed in every day.
Photography ws chosen for the freedom that it grants. It was considered necessary to provide a tool of expression that was new and known at the same time. Known since youngsters are used to shooting pictures with their phones, and new since it was decided to use analogue cameras. Analogue film was chosen because it possesses a materiality that digital does not. Because analogue photography does not allow the photographer to immediatly view an image on a screen, delete it if disatisfied and take another, it forces the photographer to consider each shot more carefully and in this way reflect upon the elements of com- position. In addition, black and white film was used in order to challenge the youngsters and interest them with something unfamiliar. The choice of black and white is explained by the need to focus not so much on the colour, but more on the essential feeling that a photo can transmit.
The project was developed as a weekend workshop lasting 4 weeks. During this time frame it was possible to create a good level of trust and commitment, in a natural way, without any feeling of pres- sure. At the same time, the time frame created a sense of community, allowing the participants to start being friends with each other. The format of interactive and short sessions allowed the participants to gain knowledge about photography, by being exposed to photos made by professional photographers and discussing them, and becoming familiar with the process of developing films. Moreover, the short sessions, about 2-3 hours, were perceived as a commitment which wouldn’t interfere with their free time. The choice of weekends was made in order for the participants to be fresh and willing to participate.
Thanks to Clifford Phillips, who works at Buret, an after school institution, five participants were selected. Clifford, who knows a great many of the youngsters in the Amager East area, talked to some of them and selected the ones who seemed most interested in taking part in the project.
The project, exhibition, and catalogue were realised with the help and support of: Clifford Philips, Buret ved Ungehuset, and Amager Øst Lokaludvalg.