4: Audience: Kyrgyzstan: dreams and realities (December 2019)

Kyrgyzstan: dreams and realities revisits drawings and information on gender and cultural background from participatory workshops I facilitated (part of the secondary material for Visual Research module) and photos that I took about communities and journeys on these trips. The aim of this assignment is to revisit all the material I now have, in correspondence also with colleagues on the ground, looking at the relative effectiveness of different forms of visual communication to communicate challenges  of gender, cultural diversity and environmental challenges in Kyrgyzstan.

Assignment 4 will continue my experiments comparing documentary effects in a range of media:

  • a series of ‘dreamy’ gouache images of the ‘Kyrgyz romantic ideal’
  • photo collage of colour photos of social and economic realities worked into and/or manipulated on my iPad
  • explore conversion to monochrome/limited palette images in printmaking media where I am aiming to improve my skills – drypoint and photo/kitchen lithography
  • add meaningful text to create a print and/or on-line publication around gender, social inclusion and/or environmental challenges in Kyrgyzstan

Assignment 5 will then further develop this for a range of formats:

  • finalise the book and/or on-line interactive pdf for a development audience (eg the UN consortium with whom I worked).
  • on-line taster for the book in After Effects in Assignment 5 using some of the workshop songs as audio.
  • improve my colour and black and white photography processing skills in Photoshop and Google NikFX to edit my best photos together with my book design skills to produce a quality photobook based on feedback from colleagues in Cambridge Camera Club and on the books I produced for an OCA landscape photography leisure course.

Source Materials

  1. Drawings from women and men on gender and visions for the future

    The photographs were taken during my professional consultancy work to facilitate participatory workshops on gender and women’s empowerment for a consortium of UN agencies. I therefore also have drawings and information from women and men participants and staff at the workshops. I am reviewing these as part of the secondary research materials for my OCA Visual Research Module. For details and videos of the participatory workshops see:

    GALS Catalyst Process Kyrgyzstan

    2) Landscape photography


Selected photographs taken during my work visits were used as part of an exploration of photobooks for an OCA leisure course on landscape photography:

Landscape Photography Assignment 5: Perspectives on Kyrgyzstan

This explored a number of different formats and photographic treatments:

For more details see  my OCA leisure course Landscape Photography:

5 Resolution: Kyrgyzstan Portfolio

Apart from needing a lot of editing, including better colour management and photo processing, the resulting photo books are far too expensive for the quality of photograph. It also needs much better integration with a coherent narrative. In addition some of the most interesting photos from a socio-political perspective are not technically good enough to stand as photos in a photobook. This assignment will completely review the whole set of photos from my trip as the basis for bearing little resemblance to the existing photobooks in images selected, narrative content, style and intended audience.

Potential audiences and outputs

The material has potential for packaging for a range of audiences with varying degrees of direct interest in the development issues raised by the material. Based on audience feedback from my various networks (professional, Cambridge Camera Club, on-line photography and design discussion fora etc), outputs could include the following:

  • a informative and entertaining mixed media Dan Eldon style book for development agencies (English-speaking) in Kyrgyzstan and internationally.
  • potential further re-packaging of the above for an on-line Kyrgyz-speaking audience drawing on my visual research for the Visual Research Module (that will be well advanced by the time I work on this assignment).
  • photo-books for the growing international tourist market. As feedback from my photography tutor and Cambridge Camera Club indicated that there is a potential market – a new selection of black and white photographs will be processed to the highest technical quality and edited as a quality coffee table photobook with an appropriate text and book design. But the images would be re-selected for their documentary as well as technical value and accompanied by a more informative text.
  • stock photos for on-line sale through eg Shutterstock and/or my SMUGMUG site.
  • cards from illustration and/or printmaking for a development and tourist market, marketed through on-line sales.