Early Photographic Federations and the Pursuit of Collaborative Education

Dominici, S. 2022. Early Photographic Federations and the Pursuit of Collaborative Education. Early Popular Visual Culture. 20 (4), pp. 388-411. https://doi.org/10.1080/17460654.2022.2087710

TitleEarly Photographic Federations and the Pursuit of Collaborative Education
TypeJournal article
AuthorsDominici, S.
Abstract

In 1899, a group of photographic societies and camera clubs in the north of England came together to form the Yorkshire Photographic Union. Soon after, five other photographic federations were founded by societies and clubs in Northumberland and Durham (1901), Scotland (1903), Lancashire and Cheshire (1905), the Midlands (1907), and East Anglia (1910). These umbrella organisations supported their federated members by coordinating the circulation of photographic materials, lecturers, and judges, and by organising joint meetings, outings, and competitions. At a time when formal photographic education was still in its infancy and largely open to professionals only, and in line with this period’s concerns with rational recreation and mutual support, the photographic federations fostered opportunities for a growing body of amateur photographers to learn from one another. This article reconstructs the largely under-researched emergence of these organisations, and asks what their educational project tells us about their understanding of how people ought to be taught and learn photography, and the values and meanings that they attached to these practices. It reveals that their vision was shaped not simply by a desire to combine instruction with sociability but, most fundamentally, by the recognition that the acquisition of theoretical and practical photographic knowledge depended on collaborative practices. The article argues that doing photography with others at the level of clubs and societies had brought them first to imagine, and then to realise, an educational infrastructure that conceptualised the transmission of photographic knowledge as a shared social responsibility supported by a cooperative network.

Keywordsamateur photography
camera club
collaborative education
grassroot movement
photographic federations
photographic society
JournalEarly Popular Visual Culture
Journal citation20 (4), pp. 388-411
ISSN1746-0654
1746-0662
Year2022
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Publisher's version
License
CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
File Access Level
Open (open metadata and files)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1080/17460654.2022.2087710
Publication dates
Published online06 Jul 2022

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