OFKS-student Nora Savosnick has been admitted with a full scholarship to the renowned photography school at ICP in New York. We have talked with Fred Ritchin, teacher and dean emeritus at ICP about the school and what they look for in new students:
Nora Savosnick who is currently finishing the final year at Oslo Fotokunstskole, has been admitted as a student at ICP (International Center of Photography), with a prestigious full-tuition scholarship from Reuters. What is the school looking for when selecting new students?
The school is looking for highly motivated students from diverse backgrounds who have interesting stories to tell, a strong visual sense, a curiosity about using media in different and innovative ways, and who want to make a difference in the world. The students come from all over the world, and study in three one-year certificate programs — General Studies, Documentary Practice and Visual Journalism, and New Media Narratives. We also have a two-year MFA program of study that is connected with Bard College.
Nora will be part of the «Documentary Photography and Visual Journalism Program«, a one-year program that you founded and directed. Could you please elaborate on this program and its curriculum?
I originally founded the Documentary Practice and Visual Journalism Program in 1983 as the Photojournalism and Documentary Photography Program. The idea has always been to train students to pursue their own visions in long-term projects, and also to be able to work with already existing media in a variety of ways.
The change in the name of the program references the transformation of the field from a print and photo-based medium to one that is more online and encompasses video, audio, multimedia, virtual reality and other forms. Students are trained in the history of the medium and how it has evolved, discuss ethical issues, learn the various techniques that are necessary, and attend a weekly seminar in which core issues are explored and the students produce work on a long-term basis.
They are also exposed to many professionals in the field, including photographers, designers, editors, virtual reality specialists, and so on.
One of your fields of interests is the shifting role of photojournalism in the digital media revolution. How different is the situation for photojournalism today, compared to before the digital revolution?
The advent of the digital has provided an enormous number of techniques to cover stories in more complex and interesting ways, as well as providing challenges with the billions of images uploaded daily from all kinds of sources, some of it not credible. We have had workshops and classes in drone photography and in virtual reality, considered by some the new “empathetic” medium, as well as in building websites and creating multimedia projects, using video and sound more effectively, and so on. We also teach how to make photo books, and how to print exhibition prints.
I teach a course called Image-based Strategies for Human Rights which deals with effective ways of moving society forward in better ways using visual media — including multimedia, video, virtual reality, books, websites, mobile phones, etc. — giving the advocate many more possibilities of reaching people in different ways.
In what way is this new status of photojournalism reflected in the program at ICP?
We have both a variety of courses and workshops, as described above, and many guest speakers, portfolio reviews by professionals, and of course the enormous number of museums and galleries in New York to visit.
Just recently we had Anton Kusters speak at the ICP Museum on his Blue Skies Project in which he photographed the blue skies over 1078 European concentration camps from World War II, Edmund Clark coming to class to discuss his work in the only therapeutic prison in England, Julio Menajovsky discussing the imagery surrounding the Argentinian dictatorship in which thousands of people were disappeared, Hugh McGrory speaking about the future of digital media, and Sim Chi Yin discussing her long-term projects that she pursues from her base in Beijing.
Ønsker du å studere fotografi? Les mer om Oslo Fotokunstskole og søk skoleplass for heltids- og deltidsstudium (kveld). Oslo Fotokunstskole er en fotoskole i Oslo for deg som ønsker å utforske dine kreative evner i et engasjerende og dynamisk miljø. Skolen ble etablert i 1989 og holder til i velutstyrte lokaler ved Alexander Kiellands Plass. Les mer om hvordan du kan starte din fotoutdanning på oslofotokunstskole.no.