You are one of the instructors for the Tokyo Documentary Photography Workshop. Tell us more about TDPW and your involvement.
I have always wanted an international standard workshop in Japan. It has been on my agenda for a long time. People don’t have much opportunity to learn social photo documentary and photojournalism in Japan. Some leave to study overseas so I thought it was time to do something. With TDPW I hope to share my experience with photographers who need help, and encourage Japanese photographers to work with local subjects/issues.
We also welcome foreign photographers, but they have to start a project in Japan prior to the 5-days workshop. We don’t want the workshop to be like a picnic. There is enough time (almost 4 months) to do research and preliminary photography for both Japanese and foreign participants. We are trying to figure out the best way for international participants to shoot in Japan as it is particularly challenging there to dig deeper into society and develop compelling stories.
TDPW will have two photographer instructors – James Whitlow Delano and Kosuke Okahara. James has been living in Japan for more than 10 years, and I thought his sense and eye of foreign living in Japan will help students to see things from an outsider’s view. Kosuke is 30 years of age, self-taught and working internationally. He photographed Ibasyo, a significant project about self-mutilation among Japanese youth. They are both exemplary photographers for the workshop participants.
We are now accepting workshop applications until 5th March 2011. We are also looking for support to make this first workshop possible. Any support, in-kind or donations are welcome.