About the Collectives Encounter

Since 2009, Photo-Festivals is collaborating with Format International Photo Festival to bring together some of the most talented and active collectives of photographers to celebrate and promote this emerging culture in the UK.

During the past 10 years, photographers have been developing a new form of working, discussing and sharing their personal work. The collective is not only a dynamic platform for photographers to guarantee their independence and identity, but also a creative hub to produce collective artwork.

This blog is dedicated to the work in progress of the 6 collectives which members are based in the UK. You can follow here the development of their respective artworks commissioned by Yasmina Reggad, curator of the exhibition ‘The Flâneur’.

About the Exhibition ‘The Flâneur. The Dwelling Place of the Collective’

FORMAT11’s theme is ‘Right Here, Right Now: Exposures from the public realm’ and is curated around the theme of street photography, examining the relationship that photographers and filmmakers have to it through a wide variety of

Within this theme, the Collectives Encounter 2011 exhibition’s curator Yasmina Reggad has decided to explore the concept of ‘The Flâneur. The dwelling place of the collective*’. She invited collectives working with or about photography and related
media to look at this concept through the lens of this mobile observer and aesthete that Walter Benjamin presented as a conceptual and analytical tool to think about the modern city.

Using the festival theme as starting point, the exhibition aims to engage with the different characters of the flâneur in order to translate them into artistic methods for the exploration of the city, the best laboratory to study human nature and social
While encompassing a space delimited only by an endless flânerie, Asa and Wideyed collectives are mapping the flâneur. They deploy a tactic of participation in order to reveal multiple trajectories of interpretation and representation of the
urban reality.

Vea collective, deliberately deviating from their ordinary life and with a calculated passivity, take a stroll around artificial temples of leisure and idleness. With them, the flâneur becomes a voyeur and take the shapes of the tourist of the public realm.

Members from The Photography Collective loiter at a corner of the city and through their gaze into the crowd. They sketch a physiology of the flâneur, ‘turn the boulevard into an intérieur**’ to eventually shift back to a world of constantly reflected
observers in the city of merchandise.

The mystery of the crowd vanishes with the advent of surveillance and identification of individual and housing. Human Endeavour hit the pavement of social housing complexes and shed light on the impossibility of the flâneur to resist the ‘degeneration’ of postmodern urbis’ planning.
Where does the flânerie end? What are its limits when the field of the stroller is its mobility and his freedom of movement? Rawiya are studying these restrictions in to hostile social, economical, political and cultural environments.

This exhibition showcases four newly-commissioned artworks by ASA and Wideyed, The Photography Collective, Vea Collective and Rawiya, as well as the reconfiguration of existing work from the Degeneration series by Human Endeavour. In addition, we
will look back to the history of photo collectives in Britain with Handsworth Self Portrait Project by Derek Bishton, Brian Homer and John Reardon who were also members of the historical photo collective Ten.8.

* Inspired by ‘Streets are the dwelling place of the collective.’ in Walter Benjamin, The Arcades Project, trans. by
Howard Eiland and Kevin McLaughlin; prepared on the basis of the volume edited by Rolf Tiedemann, Cambridge:
Harvard University Press, 1999, [M3a,4] p. 423.

**Walter Benjamin, The flâneur from The Paris of the Second Empire in Baudelaire. in Charles Baudelaire: A Lyric
Poet in the Era of High Capitalism. London: Verso, 1983, p. 37.

Curator: Yasmina Reggad

Collectives participating: ASA, Human Endeavour, Rawiya, The Photography Collective, Vea, Wideyed and Ten.8 (Derek Bishton, Brian Homer and John Reardon)

A programme of:

In collaboration with:


Thanks to the support of:


‘Handsworth Self Portrait Project’ is presented with Autograph ABP. The Collection forms part of the Archive and Research Centre for Culturally Diverse Photography supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund


Media partner:

12 Responses to “About the Collectives Encounter”
Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] really proud to announce that Wideyed will be taking part in Collectives Encounter at the Format International Photo Festival 4th March – 3rd April […]

  2. […] be producing new photographs in Derby to be included in our Degeneration project and the ‘The Flâneur‘ Collectives Encounter exhibition at Format Photography Festival […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: