Interested to find out how decisions were made for publishing TWENTYFIFTEEN? Which pictures make the cut, and which end up in trash? Platform and IPA will be hosting a introductory photobook-making workshop very soon, and you can sign up for a slot online. If you have “Liked” us on Facebook already, we’ll be announcing more details there in time to come.Read More
Because Platform has quite a loud mouth and considerably sizeable following, people tend to overestimate our ability.
While flattering, we want to remind others, and ourselves, that we remain a volunteer-run interest group with very limited resources.
From the day we started work on twentyfifteen.sg, we knew there would be complaints, and a recent one is a concern that we may be xenophobic. Now this is a very serious charge.
We are not.
The truth is, we do know the bigger picture and that is – a more global approach – will always be looked after by organizations with huge budgets, and Platform isn’t one.
We trust that established organizations like Singapore Tourism Board have plans to do international stuff, so why even try to pretend that we can duplicate that?
From the start, Platform has always been focused on promoting Singaporean photographers because we believe that this area needs work, and this is the area we are passionate about.
But have we been exclusive? Hardly. Just come to a Platform session and see for yourself.
We claim no exclusivity in our ventures and have always worked with others including those who disagree with us.
And we count on partners and friends.
Invisible Photographer Asia (IPA), a close partner of Platform and one of the first organizations we approached as twentyfifteen partner, for instance, casts a much wider net than us. They have a much more global reach and we love what they do.
Do we want to be like IPA and compete for that market? No.
I think it is important the choice of 20 photographers be taken in the right light. We have never claimed, internally or externally, that they are the best. Hardly.
If money and time were no concern, we would like to publish 195 photographers, from all walks of life, from different origins. We have friends from UK, Poland, Germany, China, USA, Argentina, South Africa, Ukraine, etc etc etc that we want to work with. We have young shooters that we want to feature.
We want to make space for great photographers we have not even met.
But as of now, we don’t have those luxuries.
The idealistic side of some of us keeps telling us that if our initiative spurs others on to start their own projects – seriously, WHY NOT?
If a group of expats who have lived in Singapore wants to start something similar, we will be so happy and we will be the first to offer congratulations, and perhaps help (if asked).
If a student group from a secondary school wants to do it, we will be so happy too. And we will gladly open up our files for them to see.
This morning, one of us spoke to a potential sponsor regarding funding and expressed Platform’s collective wish – honestly, we think the 20 books are already funded. If extra money comes in, we would like to explore how to grow related projects that will benefit even more people.