Creative Task: Re-framing the Past #BTF

Session 4 Alternative #BTF task – Re-framing The Past

This is the first of our alternative tasks which have be set by Professor and Author of Bending The Frame, Fred Ritchin. If you missed Fred’s talks then you’ll want to go back to the lectures from the start of the class – they’re well worth it. This iteration of Phonar has been re-written to draw on Fred’s Bending the Frame so if you do these tasks then please use both of the #phonar and #BTF hashtags.

Alt task: “Reframing the Past” Tell the story of an historical news event. Use all of the available and appropriate “with hindsight” perspectives to make a version of the story which you feel is more accurate. Use sources that include witnesses from that moment in time.

Development: Make alternative versions of differing publications/ broadcast channels, which reflect nationally and or culturally diverse perspectives.

Creative Task : “Spoken narrative”

Record a personal story to share with the group.

You should speak your story in person and it’s telling should last approx. 2 minutes (if you prefer to record and publish in advance, that’s fine, otherwise it’s delivered live in session and stays within the closed group).

You should especially consider your choice of story/subject, your audience and your verbal delivery – in terms of your script, language, pace and intonation. No accompanying soundscape.

No pictures. Just a story.

In preparation for this week’s task which which will involve preparing to tell your own story, we have embedded a talk below from Lisa Potts. Lisa was awarded the George Medal after confronting paranoid schizophrenic Horrett Campbell who wielded a machete in a brutal attack on children under Potts’ care at a nursery in Wolverhampton, 1996.

Here, Pott’s talks off the attack as well as her treatment by the media since the attack. Lisa Potts Talk #phonar by mjohnstonmedia

If you choose to, your audio should be uploaded to Soundcloud, YouTube or (depending on how you like your Terms of Service) and tagged#phonar

Other links:

(10.49) Embedded Video at

. . . → Read More: Creative Task : “Spoken narrative”

Guest Lecture: Benjamin Chesterton

This lecture by documentary producer and prominent blogger Benjamin Chesterton of ‘Duckrabbit Productions’ was from 2011 but well worth a re-visit. A great deal of what he had to say is relevant to our class especially when he talks about the power audio can bring to an image, as well as issues of misinterpretation, responsibility and bias. All key subject for #phonar students

Quoted from the original session..

We were honoured to have Benjamin Chesterton join us today for a lecture, Q+A and an ‘Off The Record’ session with students. The audio from the talk is available to listen to below, as well as a link to the Robert Gumpert image and audio discussed in the first part of the lecture and embedded belowis ‘Open Eye: Lebanon’s Missing’ – the documentary Benjamin produced, working with photographer Dalia Khamissy to tell the story of the thousands of people kidnapped during the Lebanese civil war.

Listen to the lecture below Q+A at 32:25

. . . → Read More: Guest Lecture: Benjamin Chesterton

From the Archive: Guest Lecture: Robbie Cooper – ‘Immersion’

We were joined in class today by photographer and video artist Robbie Cooper who well and truly immersed us in his work. The full talk Robbie gave looking through his first projects right up to his latest ideas to develop and further the ‘immersion’ project by directly involving participants in the media making process.

. . . → Read More: From the Archive: Guest Lecture: Robbie Cooper – ‘Immersion’

Russian Task Translations by Marina Zabughina

A huge #phonar thanks is due to Marina Zabughina for helping us out with these Russian translations of the #phonar tasks .

Marina has also recorded the latest workshop here: Семинар: Преобразованное повествование.

Используя только не опубликованные в журналах фотографии (например, снимки из семейных альбомов и архивов библиотек) исследуйте и скомпонуйте изображение, которое будет рассказывать о людях на ваших фотографиях. Создайте звуковое сопровождение к вашей композиции, расскажите ваши истории на тему изображенных сюжетов.

Творческий мастер-класс: Устное повествование.

Запишите личную историю, состоящую из 300 слов, чтобы поделиться с группой. Расскажите свою историю самостоятельно,в течении 2-3 минут, не больше. Вы должны учитывать особенности темы вашей истории, свою аудиторию и ваше произношение – с точки зрения сценария, языка, темпа и интонации.

Изучите историю кого-нибудь другого.

Семинар: Фикшн.

Пожалуйста, выберите одну неиллюстрированную статью и создайте мультимедийный рассказ со своими изображениями и звуковым сопровождением.

Примеры на сайте

Чтобы увидеть это в обратном действии посетите сайт Фликшн

Чтобы увидеть как реализована идея посетите

Семинар: Разделенные чувства.

Работайте в паре, где один из вас будет «глазами», а другой «ушами». Человек-Уши оборудован диктофоном и у него завязаны глаза. Человек-Глаза сопровождает Человека-Уши на прогулке по различным местам. Уши будут задавать темп путешествия и говорить, когда они . . . → Read More: Russian Task Translations by Marina Zabughina

Creative Workshop 2: Alienated Sensory Mashup

Creative workshop task 2: Alienated senses

Working in pairs if possible name yourselves “Eyes” and “Ears”. Ears is equipped with sound recording equipment (your phone will be more than adequate) and blindfolded. Eyes will lead Ears on a guided journey through a range of different environments. Ears will dictate the pace of the journey and say when they want to stop and make dedicated “sound-mark” recordings.

If you have to work alone then perhaps consider choosing an environment in which you can remain motionless with your eyes closed for several minutes. As you do so your sense of hearing will improve and you will begin to focus in on sounds that previously you’d of missed. Now search out these sounds with your recorder and build up a sound-scape of them.

For the photography aspect investigate the same environment as a photographer, responding solely to what you see.

At the end of the journey Eyes repeats the route (wearing ear-defenders/plugs) responding to the visual stimuli.

You should end up with a landscape story and a soundscape story. This content should then be uploaded for everyone to share and mash-up. In next week’s session we’ll be combining soundscapes with image-based journeys and . . . → Read More: Creative Workshop 2: Alienated Sensory Mashup

Why Phonar? Lecture 1

This first lecture asks “Why Phonar?” and sets out the rational for the rest of the course. Please tweet your notes using the #phonar hashtag and if you Storify your own set of global-notes (by searching twitter) then please do put a link to it in the comments below.

(if the embed isn’t working follow this link to )

This first session is quite dense with a lot of stuff in there so if you didn’t follow along , don’t worry because neither did half the class (they only pretended to because they knew you were listening). We can make opportunities for group discussions in Google Hangout if you’d like – we’ll post times on twitter.


Here are some more resources and reading bits as well as links to projects referred to in the lecture:

Here’s a blog to follow:


So long, and thanks for all the fish.

As has become fairly standard operating procedure at this time of year #phonar enters a kind of pupa-like stasis. During this gestation period the onsite class decide how they’re going to emerge and how they’re going to transform some of the momentum they garnered during the live ten week iteration. Very exciting …

Meanwhile it’s time to hand out some tub-thumping praise to a few standout participants who really kicked all kinds of #phonar-ass in all kinds of beautiful ways. Big shout out to Suren Makkar aka #PhonarBangalore – we loved your work. Props to Julián Péter aka #PhonarBratislava and huge respect for (I think) being the first online participant and maritime student to “attend” every single session and complete every task #TopOfTheClass and a LinkedIn recommendation coming your way. A very warm slap on the shoulder to the mysterious wordsmith Mr Peter Wilson – we love your storytelling. And a special thank you to the Ms Priyanka Ghetia for inspiring us to push further, wider and younger with our open classes – we hope you get to go to the university of your choice and trust we’ll see much more of your work in the future because you #Rock.

. . . → Read More: So long, and thanks for all the fish.


Phonar - [fo-'när] is a free and open undergraduate photography class run by Jonathan Worth

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