Bate, D. (2016) Photography (The Key Concepts). (2nd Revised Edition) (s.l.): Bloomsbury Academic.
Paul Graham Archive (s.d.) At: http://www.paulgrahamarchive.com/possibility.html (Accessed 30/03/2020).
Since a revised approach is now necessary I have read around the idea of documentary as interpretation. David Bate discusses staged meanings, and in particular some comment made by John Grierson in a lecture. He interprets Grierson’s opinions as saying “documentary had no essence of factual truth, but rather good interpretations of what people do”(Bate,2016:71).
The requirement to document my own involvement requires a subjective approach, and since I am now unable to properly document the refill shop itself I will look at a more staged interpretation. Bate goes on to name this subjective approach as ‘Reportage’, describing it as signifying “human involvement and expression of life in events”(Bate,2016:71). However he then goes on to say that both objective and subjective documentary photography are “variants of the ‘straight photograph’, and depend on the idea of witnessing life”(Bate,2016:71). This distinction applies restrictions to this project and to the notion of subjective interpretation that I do not feel is either appropriate or desirable here.
Paul Graham in his work “A Shimmer of Possibility” suggests an approach that I intend to experiment with. He utilises mostly pairs of sets of images interspersed to apply a narrative that is greater than the sum of the individual images. Since I have limited photographs of the refill shop and volunteers to use here, I want to see if a combination of these plus others can get across the idea of my own involvement.