At the end of August, I was invited to run a photobook making workshop in Rangoon / Burma. It the first photobook workshop that ever took place in Myanmar, in Myanmar Deitta, the country’s first and only institute supporting documentary photography, filmmaking and multimedia production.
My workshops are about the creation of photobooks on the one hand, as well as about rethinking the photographer’s work in the context of a photobook on the other hand. I work closely with the participants in the production and presentation of a book from their own photo projects, focusing on design, editing, sequencing and the importance of materials in the production of photobooks.
Before the workshop, we went to street shops to check the materials available. Before I arrived in Burma, I was told that you don’t find different papers in Rangoon and the printing possibilities are limited, but it turned out that if you know what to look for, you find a wide range of materials. At the end, we managed to print (besides the digital printing) silkscreen and white on black paper. Riso printing is also possible and very cheap, but we didn’t used it because of the nature of the works.
In the first step, the six participants (Sai Htin Linn Htet, Yu Yu Myint Than, Shwe Wutt Hmon, Minzayar Oo, Hkun Lat and Wai Hnin Tun) started to work on their editing and sequencing with printed photos. We try to find out what’s the best for the book, even if it means to “kill” the darlings, to get rid of favorite photos or photos that might be good, but they don’t fit to the story.
After the layout and the printing: late night making of the books – cutting, glueing, sewing. On the last day, we left the place at around 2.30 am.
The dummies. We make dummies to see what works and what doesn’t, find other solutions, see if the editing, sequencing, size, etc. works or what can be changed – just for getting an idea what the project is about, and have something to show. We did the dummies from scratch in four days, the final book would need more time for finalizing the layout, working on the final cover, looking for the right materials and printing places.
Note from Calin Kruse: In August and September, I had the honour to work in Malaysia and Burma with young photographers from South-East Asia. dienacht Publishing published the book “we will have been young”, showcasing twelve young photographers from eight South-East Asian countries, which developed a body of work related to “Youth” over the past eleven months under the supervision of the tutors Jörg Brüggemann and Tobias Kruse from the Ostkreuz Agency, and with the support of the Goethe Institut in Kuala Lumpur. In Burma, I curated a photobook exhibition and run a photobook workshop. In my posts over the next few weeks, I would like to feature a few portfolios from South-East Asian photographers and show an inside view of my work there.