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Capturing Your World: Photography Late

A group of young adult women smiling at the camera outside the museum

How do you respond to the world around you? The Jewish Museum London invites you to join photographers, artists, musicians and creatives to discover the ways in which humans try to understand their cultural moment through the medium of photography.

Meg O’Mahony, one of five MA Museum Studies students from UCL, discusses the working progress to produce the event ‘Capturing Your World: Photography Late‘ at the Jewish Museum  London on 7 February 2019.

Taking inspiration from the temporary exhibition, Roman Vishniac Rediscovered, we’re inviting you to come and explore the fascinating world of the science of photography and to think about some of the ways that we can capture the world around us today – just like Vishniac!

Two young adult females trying on Jewish costume

So far we’ve had a great time working on the project including a fascinating exhibition tour from Assistant Curator Jemima Jarman and exploring the rest of the museum (and getting to play dress up along the way).

To begin with, we held a mind-mapping session which was kickstarted by a 3-minute challenge to create a plasticine sculpture based on our initial thoughts. Part of this early stage of idea creation is to think about what events we can do for the event and explore all possibilities with no restrictions. For example, did you know that Roman Vishniac’s father worked as an umbrella manufacturer and his mother came from a family of diamond dealers? This is just one of the many obscure ‘Vishni-facts’ that we’ve picked up along the way. One wonderfully whacky idea to commemorate this new fact was to craft diamond topped umbrella but this idea proved, perhaps, just a little bit too far out there.

Three hand made red men made from Plasticine on a wooden surface

Something that became apparent fairly early on was how differently we each responded to the exhibition. We took away different thoughts about which pieces we each found the most meaning in and, ultimately, what key messages we came away with. However, rather than seeing this as a barrier to our progress, we found this really helped us to appreciate the fantastic diversity in Vishniac’s work – how he used his camera in ways that can haunt us, inspire us and still astound us decades on.

An exciting programme of live performances, talks and activities is now starting to take shape to bring Vishniac’s photography to life. We can’t wait to share it with you, so keep your eyes peeled for regular updates on this blog, Instagram and Twitter over the coming months, using the hashtag #PhotographyLate for a sneak peek of what we’ve got up our sleeves…