Huw Wahl graduated from the MA Photography in September 2012 and has recently had some of his work about Negotiating Representation in Israel and Palestine published in the very prestigious visual sociology journal Visual Studies.
Huw said: “The MA Photography at UCLan enabled me to broaden my theoretical photographic knowledge, and specifically allowed me time to explore the theories surrounding image making and representation. The course also gave me confidence in practical aspects of photography, which helped me to carry out fieldwork in Israel and Palestine. This exploratory space that the MA initiated has since become the underpinning for continuing work, and I am currently using methods learned through the MA to create still and moving image works with strong research grounding.
In the summer of 2012, I travelled to Israel and Palestine to explore the notion of photographic representation in this heavily documented region and to understand how local visual practitioners negotiated the work of photography in relation to their own identities and opinions on the conflict.
I was interested in how they dealt with issues such as victimhood, the ambiguous nature of photography and their position in relation to the press and broadcast media. The photo-essay I presented combines my photographs with quotations from interviews I conducted with photographers and arts practitioners during the visit.
During my stay I listened to what visual practitioners thought photography could do, its positive and negative uses within the situation, and how they felt about the place where they lived being represented globally through, often repetitive, media images focusing on conflict. I was able to spend time with some of the people I spoke to, and observe the ways in which they went about their practice. My photographs were highly influenced by the topics we discussed and I became increasingly aware of the structures and influences we draw upon when making images in situations we already feel we ‘know’ through the images we have seen.
After returning from the region, I edited the interviews and the photographs into a short, multimedia ‘visual essay’, choosing to show uncaptioned images alongside the voices of those I had interviewed, both Israeli and Palestinian. The intention was to open up the ambiguity, and allow space for new thoughts to take place.”
View Huw’s audio-visual piece he made for his MA final show.