I chose to contact Michael Stewart, anthropologist and documentary film maker. Michael combines film-making with research and teaching, and has recently worked collaboratively with young people in Newham on a project about the development of a university campus on the Olympic Park. My proposed final major project focuses on the area around the Olympic Park, and involves working collaboratively with the local community. I hoped to learn from Michael about both the area and the process of working collaboratively with the community. My request coincided with the OpenCity Documentary Film Festival (which Michael founded and directs), making meeting up difficult.
As an alternative, I decided to take part in the Festival (The Art of Non-Fiction) and to arrange to meet with other photographers before the new module starts. The following CRJ posts will present what I have learnt from the Festival sessions in which I have participated.
I have also arranged to meet other photographers and with researchers, local community activists and others in the areas I am planning to explore, and will add further posts about those meetings. And I plan to catch up with Michael at some point soon (we did pass on the stairs going to and from events).