An East German ‘village teacher’ teaching students of all age groups in one class, 1951
Happy new year! 2016 marks the fifth year of Disphotic’s existence, and it’s third as a blog dedicated to writing on photography. Each new year usually brings small changes as I try to refine what the blog does and how it fits in to the other things I spend my time doing and this year there are two small changes I want to announce. Firstly I will be significantly reducing the number of reviews (particularly book reviews) I do and possibly in time stopping them altogether. Lately I’ve found reviews more and more of a pain to write, and I never really derived that much pleasure from getting up on my high horse and proclaiming one piece of work better than another. I will continue to write about new photography but I’d prefer to find other ways to do it, whether that be through essays which are more analytically critical than judgemental, and through things like interviews with photographers.
The second change is a consequence of my joining London College of Communication’s BA in Photojournalism and Documentary Photography as a lecturer last October. It’s a really exciting opportunity to explore many of the topics I discuss on this blog in a much more practical setting and to be far more deeply involved in shaping a course than I ever have been in the past. However this new commitment inevitably means that I have rather less free time for pleasant diversions like writing and working on my own projects, at least during the transition into teaching and for however long it takes for me to find my feet. Disphotic will carry on publishing, but I anticipate the schedule of new posts might start to be less regular than it has been.
Slowing the blog down a year ago from two posts per week ago to one was meant to make Disphotic more sustainable, because that sort of writing commitment proved remarkably grueling over the fourteen months or so that I kept it up. In practice even posting once a week has proven pretty exhausting, and although I’ve just about managed to maintain that pace for about a year and a half I know it’s not always been to the best. Things get posted which aren’t always up to the standard I’d like them to be. That comes with the territory of blogging, but you still strive for the best quality you can. I hope that reducing the pressure to post on a regular basis will mean I can spend longer developing each piece, and make them rather better for it. I remain totally committed to this blog and the conversations that it has helped to start. This isn’t going to mean an end to any of that, just perhaps a slight change of pace.