Week 5 – Reflections

This was an full and interesting week with the coursework on ethics and the formulation of my oral presentation.  I hesitated to review the exemplar presentations until after I had completed my first draft, and when I finally did, I realized I had a way to go both in terms of polishing the presentation and more importantly in terms of truly contextualizing the project and giving it a critical basis.  The peer reviews were quite favourable on the topic I chosen, and not nearly critical enough on the depth of the content or the way it was presented.  But it was a good start and only the point of departure for further refinement.

On the topic of ethics, in saw a Facebook post from Robert Reich, former US Secretary of Labor and Chancellor of the School of Public Policy at University of California, Berkley.  He has a book about to be released on the loss of common good.  Below is an excerpt from that book that he posted on Facebook.  While his intention was not directed at photographers, but I think there is relevance to photographers nonetheless as it speaks to ethics.  It postulates the seemingly increasing ethical lapses across business, politics and personal behaviour are due in no small measure to an erosion of the concept of common good.

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As photographers, we operate within societies in which moral attitudes and boundaries of propriety have changed to the point of where it is often not clear whether civility has disappeared completely.  I am not naïve enough to suggest that the genie can be put back in the bottle, but we as photographers have choices to make every day in who or what we photograph and how; where we choose to publish and how we want our work to be used.  And we have the choice to use our art to attempt to elevate or to contribute to the decline of societal values.

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