I am thrilled to be presenting a workshop at the upcoming conference on degrowth in Malmö, Sweden. Provisionally titled ‘Visualising our Values’ the session will explore the role visual imagery plays in creating and reinforcing cultural & economic “norms and explore ideas for how the degrowth movement can utilise it to create emotionally resonant communication around new values.
For degrowth to succeed it must do more than win the intellectual arguments and convince policy makers. While both are important, as many in the movement have already noted we need to find narratives and strategies capable of breaking into broader sections of society and shifting cultural values and norms. We must learn from the mistakes of of climate change communications and decades of social justice campaigning that have fallen short of igniting true cultural shifts.
A key part of shifting cultural values means helping people envision new possibilities. Photography and visual communication are critical components in creating a new social imaginary. They have enormous potential to reopen space for human creativity and reach a broader audience with values of a degrowth economy. Proponents of the current economic order well understand imagery’s power to construct social values, advertising being a prime example. For the degrowth movement a key part of success will be how well we tap into the power of visual communication to create new spaces for human imagination.
For anyone interested in degrowth I strongly encourage you to consider attending the conference. If you know you won’t be able to attend but would be interested in hearing more about my workshop please get in touch.
Every year or so I fly to Tucson, Arizona to visit my parents. While I tend to shorthand with people to say I am going ‘home’ it’s not really true. My parents moved out to AZ while I was in my second year at University so I’ve never lived there and know no one outside of my parents and brother.
Also I should say they don’t live in down town Tucson but in a town 30 miles south jokingly referred to as God’s Waiting Room. Besides it being important for me to see my family when I live so far away I now try to see these couple of weeks a year as creative challenges.
With my trusty Olympus OM-D at my side, my camera of choice for travelling, I can entertain myself through almost any outing. Like this trip to a local garden centre to shop for plants to add to back patio. Gardening has never really been my thing and the desert is not my climate of choice (I moved to Scotland!).
But meandering around photographing plants was not only a great way to pass the time and help prevent me from reverting to my younger self whining about when we could leave, but it also helped me develop more appreciation for the beauty and resilience of desert life.
Even when I’m back home in Edinburgh and find myself sitting in a boring conversation, a play that isn’t that engaging, or film that should have had better editors (Last Jedi) and don’t have the luxury of having my camera, photography can still save the day. I simply entertain myself either by studying the lighting or thinking about how I would photograph it if I did have my camera.
The Night Circus Portrait Series is officially off and running! In November I was lucky enough to work with a fantastic team who all helped bring Poppet to life.
As the Murray twins are never separated for long casting is now open for an actor or model interested in portraying Poppet’s twin brother Widget.
Winston Aidan Murray, known to all as Widget, was born on the grand opening of the Night Circus exactly six minutes before midnight; the passing of an old day. While his twin can see the future Widget can read people’s pasts.
He wears a black suit made from all manner of fabrics complete with a black hat and gloves. When not performing Widget tells stories and indulges his fondness for circus treats like cocoa, sugar mice and delicious cinnamon things.
- playing age of 15-19
- natural ginger hair
- ideally blue eyes but not a deal breaker
- Actor or model will receive digital photographs for time
- Selected actor or model will need to sign a model release form prior to the shoot
- Shoots are based in Edinburgh but can compensate for travel costs depending on location
- It is not necessary to have read the book but is definitely a bonus!
- Shoot dates will be largely dependent on individual schedules and in some cases seasonality
Ready to Runaway and Join the Circus?
- Send a photograph or link to your spotlight pg etc along with why you are interested in participating and the best way to get in touch to firstname.lastname@example.org or drop me a line on the contact page.
- If I think you might be a good fit I’ll be in touch for an informal chat
“The towering tents are striped in white and black, no golds or crimsons to be seen…All over the tents, small lights begin to flicker, as though the entirety of the circus is covered in particularly bright fireflies…When the tents are all aglow, sparkling against the night sky, the sign appears.
Le Cirque des Rêves- The Circus of Dreams”
– Excerpts from The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
The book has inspired me to my next project, a portrait series of the Night Circus characters. Below you can find more information about getting involved and specific casting calls.
Casting is now open for the first of the character portraits in my The Night Circus series. Like Bailey I am now looking for Poppet. Poppet Murray is in her mid teens with bright red hair and can see the future. She has a fraternal twin brother Widget who can read people’s pasts. She wears a white dress made of a patchwork of different fabrics, military jacketI would love to hear from anyone who feels they can fit the bill and are interested in joining the project. More character information will be provided upon request.
- There will be flexibility with age for Poppet if needed
- All actors will receive photos for time
- Selected actors will need to sign a model release form
- Please send a photo of yourself and why you are interested in participating
- It is not required to have read the book but a definite bonus if you have!
Contact me at: Ashleyerdman@gmail.com
Other Ways to be Involved
In addition to actors for the characters I am looking for make-up artists and stylists interested in the project. If you are interested and like the sound of it or would like more information feel free to drop me an email and we can chat. All work will be done on time for photos.
What a difference a week makes! The garden has some great colour thanks to more plant donations, gates are going up to guard against the bunnies and there was some serious weeding happening.