Docupedia


Monday, September 20th, 2010 - Nicholas Calcott

Dutch Doc is a (surprise, surprise) Dutch website and blog specializing in documentary photography.  They run essays and blog posts and their twitter feeds all on the main page, but barring a major upgrade in google translate, the site is pretty much uninteligible unless you speak Dutch.

That being said, however, one aspect of the site which is in English is the Docupedia, a project begun to catalogue many of the different photography institutions and prizes all over the world.

Obviously, there are areas (Europe) where they are much stronger than others (Africa and South America don’t have a single entry for example, which is obviously not the case), but it’s the beginning of a valiant effort to provide a one-stop reference to the various photographic scenes.

The lack of coverage of some areas, though, highlights an interesting point – I highly doubt that the people behind Dutch Doc are intentionally or unintentionally excluding photographic organizations in non-western countries.  Much more likely is that they simply don’t know about any. Which is a bit of the problem – as most of the readers of this blog are probably avid internet photography viewers, we probably know plenty of Western photo organizations – they are, after all, the most likely to be plugged in and the most likely to have a website or to appear on a blog. So, the failure of this map (so far, it must be said – it’s an ongoing list) is its very lack of African, Asian, and Latin American institutions.  These institutions are the most likely to benefit from a map such as this, and they are also the most likely to show us something we haven’t yet seen in a way that we have equally not seen (see this graphic for a sense of this), which one might say goes some way to explain the very appeal of photography.

[Randomly, check out 'A Japanese Book' via Eyecurious Books...]

On that topic, Greater Middle Eastern Photo recently posted a timely essay as a response to Perpignan:

Congratulations to Frédéric Sautereau who has won the International Daily Press Award at Visa Pour L’Image for his work on Gaza which appeared in La Croix.

Sautereau is no stranger to the area and has bodies of work including Jerusalem (and other divided cities), the wall separating Israel and the West Bank, Gaza and Hamas. It is a deserving win, though I look forward to the time when photographers from the region lead the way in producing award winning work about their homelands.

Why they don’t go on to greater glory is the crux of the matter, and the author goes on to provide some explanations.  Read more here.

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