This summer, go beyond a traditional photography course to learn about the creation of the photobook. Kaamna Patel, PCA ’14 alumna and current Alumni Ambassador for India & Surrounding Regions, will lead students through an exploration of how visual literacy, communication of a personal concept through image editing and sequencing, image processing, and bookbinding techniques.
Short interview between “Paris through the Photobook” instructor Kaamna Patel and Summer Program manager Emma Vissicchio:
EV: What is a photobook, and why did you want to focus on that object for your summer course?
KP: A photobook, in my opinion, is an object that uses photographs as the primary medium to convey a concept or narrative. I believe that the photobook provides a platform for understanding narrative structures and temporality when working with images, a foundation I believe is essential for anyone looking to venture into the field of photography.
EV: What are some of your favorite photobooks?
KP: Some of the photobooks I admire are Laia Abril’s ‘On Abortion’, Rinko Kawauchi’s ‘Illuminance’ , Max Pinckers’ ‘The Fourth Wall’, ‘Out of Order: Bad display’ by Penelope Umberico, ‘The Holy Bible’ by Adam Broomberg & Olivier Chanarin…
EV: What are you most looking forward to this summer?
KP: Immersing into and uncovering Paris’ visual culture, collecting and making images during our adventures around the city to tell stories with, visiting and learning from other professionals and cultural instituitions, and most of all, playing with the medium to create something unique!
EV: What has been the metaphoric heartbeat of your work recently? What inspires and motivates you that you hope to share with your students?
KP: My work is usually born in response to the environment I find myself in. I love discovering and working with local artisans and resources as much as possible, which is just another way to engage with my immediate surroundings. I hope to help students see that inspiration is all around, everything has the potential to be a part of our stories, and we will learn to articulate these narratives through the photobook.
EV: How long have you been a part of the PCA community? What has this community meant to you over the course of that time, and what made you want to take on a new role within PCA as summer faculty?
KP: I graduated from PCA with a BFA in Photography in 2014 and have been representing PCA in Asia Pacific and South Asia since then, alongside my private practice. PCA has nurtured my career and has been my support since the time when I was a student there, so for about 10 years now. I’m finally in a place where I can share my practice around working with images, and I would love to share this with future PCA alumni!
EV: Any other personal projects in the works that you’d like to share?
KP: A residency coming up at the Cité International des Arts in Paris where I’ll be experimenting with photography and drawing, and also working on a new book.
Visit paris.edu/summer to find more information on “Paris through the Photobook” and to register for summer courses.