Learning to See at 70
With a view to helping participants learn how to see or―what comes to the same thing―to express their personal vision through photography, we held the first Punt de Vista workshop for people seventy and older. The focus of the classes was not the usual one in a photography course. Almost no theory, apart from some basic notions, and plenty of practice: every week the participants left the workshop with “homework” assignments. The following Friday they would return with their finished rolls and discuss the developed photographs, learning in this way from their own successes and mistakes.
Through these exercises, the participants began to train their gaze, forging a personal vision through images and cultivating the patience required for photography. Little by little, the pretty, aseptic postcard image that had been so common at the beginning of the course gave way to a personal vision in which formal beauty became less important than the authenticity of what they wanted to explain. Through their images, these amateur photographers demonstrated that photographic practice is not connected with age, but rather with curiosity, sensibility, and willingness to learn.r.
The workshop was held from October 2004 to April 2005, with the collaboration of the Casal de Gent Gran de Gràcia and the voluntary participation of Caro García, Mireia Plans, Antoine Passerat, Mar Abella, Mara Lethem, and Óscar Castillo.
As a result of the workshop, an exhibition was held at the Ajuntament de Gràcia, with the collaboration of the Department of Family Welfare of the Generalitat de Catalunya and the Escuela del Voluntariado in Madrid.