name: trenton / age: 30 / profession: publisher / location: london / weekday: wednesday / reference: on the 11th may 2011 news reached jeddah that a man, later to named athiraman kannan, had the previous day, jumped to his death from the 147th floor of the world’s tallest building; the burji khalifa. from india, he came to dubai to work. he cleaned the newly opened building. in an attempt to honour athiraman kannan, and his courageous call for attention to the lives of migrant workers, that afternoon i photographed what i had in previous weeks started to describe as a ‘pop out city’. these spaces were described to me by the domestic workers as an attempt at permanency, comfort and retreat in an always vulnerable and precarious life as a migrant worker. unlike the families they worked for, whose life exists almost entirely behind these walls, their lives exist on the street, which is forging new notions ‘the public’ in city largely concerned with ‘privacy’. (image taken the 11th may 2011 in al naeem, jeddah.)
Bilderkritik 2 – Doors & Windows was organised at The Showroom within their Communal Knowledge program. Members from Justice for Domestic Workers (J4DW), a self-organised group of migrant domestic workers who work in private houses in the UK, were the main participants of the workshop. Young artists, curators and activists completed the group. We started with a brief introduction to werker magazine and the worker photographer movement, followed by a collective reading of the outcome of Bilderkritik 1 – Kitchen. Some members of J4DW felt the urge to add their personal stories. They wrote them on sticky notes which created an unexpected intervention into the current design. Previous hesitations about the connection of the project to the Domestic Workers in struggle seemed to have been sorted out.
The following tags were created: Immigration, Hierarchy, Education, Mobility, Safe / Unsafe, Motivation, A Room of Ones Own, Visibility / Invisibility
→ Bilderkritik is a collective learning methodology that helps us to articulate all content received in the Domestic Worker Photographer Network. The analysis consists on identifying a pattern or commonality among the images of the Network and how they speak to different people in several working groups.
→ The term 'Bilderkritik' was originally used in 'Der Arbeiter-fotograf', the German Worker Photographers monthly journal, to name a section where images sent by amateurs to the editors of the journal were analysed technically, formally and ideologically.