Confinement Day 5 :: History and Practice

Jo Spence, Beyond the Perfect Image. Photography, Subjectivity, Antagonism

Writing about this experience, the work of Jo Spence is my anchor. Jo Spence was doing social media before the internet existed. A deeply political and analytical kind of social media.

As explained in the blurb of a retrospective of her work:

Spence was one of the key figures in the debates around photography, critique of representation and feminism that took place in the seventies and eighties. During this time, the work being produced around the processes of “representation” offered strategies for social struggle: simply exercising control over one’s own image could eventually lead to self-management of the means of production in a broader sense.

(Macba, 2005)

The brilliant catalogue to the exhibition documents the practice and philosophy of Jo Spence and the grassroots collectives she worked with. This includes documentary methods which can be re-applied in different contexts, including the full range of intersectional dimensions (class, gender, race, etc.). The following examples marked in red focus on documenting invisibilised work and inequalities. Realities which I am highlighting in these posts.

Got to hang out with little one now, but back later…

Ok this is a bit of a delayed addition but multi-multi-tasking going on here and the tiredness/numbness kicking in. Following on from the practices outlined in the image above, this is estimated times of activities from this day:

6-7.30am: Paid Work. For the sake of sanity and for the sake of paying bills.

7.30-8.30am: Wipe down kitchen with bleach as oven repairman had been round. Repairman was lovely and wore mask and plastic covers over shoes but still he was kneeling on floor and touching things. We are in self-isolation in order to bring my elderly dad here, so we have to be very rigorous about self-isolation conditions.

8.30am-2.30pm: Hanging out with little one and doing regular domestic stuff together. As I had wiped down the kitchen, we were able to go into kitchen and do some cooking together. We also rang my Dad on Skype and kept Skype on for a few hours to keep him company. We also rang one of Dad’s elderly friends who is on their own, and supported Dad to call her so they could chat for a bit too. While eating lunch, we Facebook video-ed a younger friend of Dad’s and we could all chat together via my laptop.

2.30-7.30pm: very interrupted (paid) work time. Little one wanting attention and trying to type on the keyboard while I’m working etc etc.

7.30pm: dinner and collapse into bedtime.

Little one also wanted to contribute:


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