The task, to produce a crowdsourced Zine …
We were asked to form groups and then to choose a subject or theme for our zine.
Very quickly we were able to identify a small number of potential topics and from that list we chose ‘Shoes’ and the idea of walking a mile in someone’s shoes.
A deadline for contributions was set at 1800hrs on Wednesday 14 June, and this would allow us time to compile images and edit the zine before publishing.
There are a small number of companies which offer a platform for the publication of zines and these were evaluated and potential runners were added to a shortlist.
Background to this activity is the study of photographic projects involving input from people additional to the photographer: collaborative, collective, participatory and cooperative projects, and the ways in which these are unique or overlap with the terminology being interchangeable.
Quite clearly a crowdsourced zine is dependent upon contributions, we as photographers found ourselves in new territory, assuming a project management and editing role. OK, project management is a big part of photography so that isn’t so new, but I think it fair to say that the editing role most certainly is.
The response from family, friends and friends of friends has been immense – truly fantastic. It represents the great things that we can achieve when we all work together. We are extremely thankful, and humbled, by the response.
Part of the brief was to maintain an element of surprise by keeping the themes for our zines secret from other groups. Consequently, we set up a secret Facebook group through which we could request and then receive contributions for footwear related images. Once this was established and proved successful we extended the opportunities to contribute to include quotes and poems related to shoes and walking.
This has been an interesting area of research, it has also been a fun activity which was made exciting by the enthusiasm of those taking part and the diversity of their contributions.