Online Course | Picturing Photography: Power, Ethics and Social Change

06:30pm, Mon 11 Mar 2024 - 08:00pm, Mon 15 Apr 2024

Explore photography within a broader cultural and social context with curator Mariama Attah in this new course

Installation shot of Johny Pitts exhibition, 2023 © H Shukera

Online Course | Picturing Photography: Power, Ethics and Social Change


Explore photography within a broader cultural and social context with curator Mariama Attah in this new course

This event is part of our Past Programme

Taking place over five sessions, this course is a comprehensive exploration of the social, cultural and historical aspects of photography. We will look at the many ways photographers engage with and interpret the world through their lens.

Each session addresses a different theme related to photography, spanning topics such as the power dynamics inherent in portraiture, ethics considerations and responsibilities, and the lasting influence of imperialism on identity, among many other debates. We look at the work of a broad range of artists and photographers, including James Barnor, Helen Cammock, Amak Mahmoodian, Harold Offeh, Johny Pitts and Maxine Walker.

Led by curator and writer Mariama Attah.

Course format

Taking place weekly on Zoom, sessions include a blend of lectures, group discussions and presentations. Participants are provided with lecture slides and a list of resources for further study.

Who is this for? 

Open to all who are interested in photography and art. No prior knowledge necessary. 

Details on how to access the sessions will be confirmed upon registration. Please check your junk folders if you haven't received an email from TPG staff confirming your place. 


Session 1: Setting the scene - capturing portraits on Mon 11 Mar 2024 at 18.30-20.00 on Zoom

This first session will present ideas on the power dynamics and rituals of photographing the self, being photographed by others, and understanding how the act of capturing these moments fits into a broader photography context.

Session 2: Social Histories on Mon 18 Mar 2024 at 18.30-20.00 on Zoom

Session two explores the social responsibility of photography and image making, and presents a range of practitioners who call upon social histories in their approaches.

Session 3: Photography and performativity/ play on Mon 25 Mar at 18.30-20.00 on Zoom

This session focuses on artists using photography as a tool in their performativity, as well as featuring practitioners who play with the typical boundaries of the art form.

Monday Easter Break on Monday 1 April 2024

No session

Session 4: Identity and environment, colonialism on Mon 8 Apr 2024 at 18.30-20.00 on Zoom

Session four presents a history of shaping and sharing thoughts on identity particularly from the perspective of the environment and colonialism.

Session 5: Looking ahead, young image makers on Mon 15 Apr 2024 at 18.30-20.00 on Zoom

This final session shares ideas on looking ahead in photography, visualizing what issues we may face, and how we can look for and find new perspectives through photography and visual culture.


Mariama Attah is a photography curator, writer and lecturer with a particular interest in overlooked visual histories, and understanding how photography and visual culture can be used to amplify underrepresented voices. Mariama is currently Associate Curator for Art Collection Deutsche Börse. Previous roles include Head of Exhibitions at Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool, Editor of Foam Magazine, Curator at Photoworks, and Commissioning and Managing Editor of the yearly magazine Photoworks Annual.


A number of partial bursaries covering 50 per cent of course fees will be awarded on a first come basis. Applicants who wish to be considered for a partial bursary should submit a statement (max. 500 words) to, outlining how Picturing Photography: A Look at its Social and Cultural History would contribute to their professional development. Successful applicants will be notified within a week of submission. 

We actively encourage applications from groups who are currently underrepresented in the cultural sector in the UK. This includes people who identify as D/deaf, disabled* and neurodivergent; those with caring responsibilities; candidates from Black, Asian and ethnically diverse backgrounds; and arts and culture professionals whose career development has been negatively impacted by Covid-19, prioritising independent artists, freelancers and those made redundant/at risk of redundancy since 2020.

*The Equality Act 2010 defines a disabled person as someone who has a physical or mental impairment, and the impairment has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities. Sharing that you are disabled will not be used in any way in judging the quality of your application.




By booking for this event you agree to our Terms & Conditions.