Currently Feelin* (Podcast Love #1): A Small Voice

* named after a series of frequent blog posts that I wrote on my now archived Drumz Of The South blog which listed whatever I was listening to, reading or loving at the time.

  Is this the real life, is this just fantasy? © Georgina Cook 2018

Is this the real life, is this just fantasy? © Georgina Cook 2018

When I’m gardening (which is a lot) I generally listen to podcasts. Something about the quiet & calm of being outside doing fairly repetitive & meditative actions like digging, weeding or watering allows me to really listen to whatever’s in my ears. Podcasts make me feel like Neo from The Matrix when he plugs himself in, wakes up with a jolt and suddenly “knows Kung-Fu.” They allow me to hear stories & learn new things, very quickly & absorb them straight into my brain.

So my next few posts will be about some of the best podcasts I’ve listened to recently. Because sharing is caring.

Today I caught up with A Small Voice Podcast by Ben Smith which I would say is undoubtedly the best photography podcast out there. Why? Because in talking to so many different photographers, so much about the medium is revealed; why & how photographers pick up a camera in the first place & how their own experiences & perspectives are inherently tied to the images that they make, for example. 

Ben’s interview with the huge personality that is Bruce Gilden offers a particularly beautiful insight into those questions.

The responsibility of the photographer (especially photo-journalists & documentary) to represent & acknowledge the nuances of their environment - physical, political or otherwise, is another example & is something that was talked about by Donald Weber in the most recent episode.

I was also taken by his reluctance to label what he photograph’s as “subjects,” because (to paraphrase), this immediately suggests an imbalance of power or condescension by the photographer. Question everything and approach photography with a more open and participatory approach he suggests.

I began my career as a newspaper photographer so journalistic & documentary photography has always informed my work, even that which may be considered more as “Art” then reportage. It’s fascinating therefore, to hear ideas that will potentially change the way I & other photographers construct stories. It feels so necessary for us to constantly analyse the way we engage with the world. In fact, this is definitely an over-arching theme of The Small Voice Podcast as a whole, so thank you Ben Smith.

I must also mention the episode with Alixandra Fazzina - I’m going to refrain from giving anything away about this one, because to do so will definitely take away from the impact of Alixandra’s incredible story.