Home > Toronto Workshop > Toronto, Day 4: The Living Museum

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Today was a dramatic shift in subject matter for our students. After two days of practice photographing buildings, trees, our friends and instructors, we set off into the Aga Khan Museum to capture its daily activities. This meant we’d be approaching strangers and asking permission to take their photograph. This was a big change for the students, who were challenged to step outside their comfort zone. It was slow going at first, but they became more comfortable approaching people and created some really interesting and sensitive images.

We focused on four main aspects of the museum: the atrium/public space, the restaurant, the auditorium and the collections. In the main public space, young children visiting the museum could make masks at an arts and craft station, while the older children took a tea making class. In the permanent exhibitions area, students photographed wandering musicians and museum goers, while in the auditorium there was a performance. The students were also allowed behind the scenes. In the restaurant, students photographed in the kitchen, while underground, students were permitted to take photos in the collections and restorations departments of the museum. In restorations, a woman was repairing an 11th century embroidery, and in collections, they were cataloging a newly donated collection of coins, some of which dated back the 8th century!

The students created a few thousand images today, and we had a big job editing them all. But in the end, we found lots of great images and are excited to get the students out to more locations this week.

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