Visual seminar
Download the report "Learning to See - Visual Seminar the Manual"  

How is the function of film/photography changing and their working methods?
How to use the visual tools in a conscious, critical and thoughtful manner?
How to follow the technological change wisely for the sake of promoting social change?
How to apply pictures in social and cultural projects?

Questions like the above made us organise a Visual Seminar – an opportunity to meet for persons working with pictures, practices of looking and the contemporary culture in the broad sense: practitioners (animators/educators, authors) and theoreticians (anthropologists, sociologists, researchers) operating within the field of visual culture.

Where did the idea come from?

We met to examine changing forms of education, the reasons for using visual tools, the discourse devoted to the circulation of pictures in the modern world and the meaning of gaze as the instrument to make visible what was marginalised before.

One of the objectives of the Visual Seminar was to reach beyond the habits we follow during our everyday work of animators/ educators/ coordinators. We are often so absorbed in implementing the subsequent steps of our projects, we find it difficult to ask oneself questions not included in grant application forms. We decided to provide some time for reflexion and critical reassessment of our work and methods, the meaning of which is rarely called in question.

What happened?

The Visual Seminar was held on 27-30 September 2012 in Oczyszczalnia (Regowo, nearby Warsaw).

We invited seventeen practitioners to work together with – persons who educate, animate and coordinate projects featuring photography, film, art or network. The participants were both members of large institutions, founders of small non-governmental organisations, as well as „freelancers”. What they all have in common is the fact of applying tools and practices related to visuality in its broad sense and the readiness to reexamine the concept and the meaning of “visual education”. Additionally we invited visual culture anthropologists, sociologists, new media researchers, education theoreticians, artists and curators. During our four-day intense and important work packed with challenges and questions we listened to stimulating lectures, involved in fierce debates, participated in workshops focused on constructive criticism of „good practices”, examining pictures from the Internet and film clips from YouTube, developing conceptual experiments with the use of a photo camera and the Net. Finally, we summed up our experience in a way that would give rise to questions and new unexpected conclusions.

What is the website?

The Internet publication has come to life thanks to the practitioners’ willingness to share their experience and thoughts and the theoreticians’ readiness to present their research perspective in the context of visual education. It is pieced together from particular texts – it is not the index that structures it, but the questions tackled by the authors and authoresses in a variety of ways.  

The form of the publication is intended to encourage the visitors to use it in an active and participatory way; moving from one question to another you can mark your own path and the order of reading, whereas the tab “Attach” makes it possible to offer your own topic of discussion or your own original text to be published on the website.

We wish to thank our authors and authoress for collaborative work on the concept and the content of the publication!

Texts in English

The website „Wizjonerzy” is arranged round questions. It is intended to inspire reflection, questions concerning one's individual work and sharing observations related to changing reality focused on the visual. The texts written by practitioners and theoreticians constitute attempts to search for answers – not necessarily homogeneous or final.

It is therefore questions and quotations that make moving on the website possible – fragments which lead to full versions of texts.

We are planning a full, English version of the website.  At the moment we can provide only an excerpt.  We invite you to read chosen texts and learn the questions and quotations that structure our publication. 

"Questions and answers" that structure the publication  

"Expanding education so that we can stop feeling hat we need to be taught" - text by Ruben Diaz Lopez  

"Freedom and collectivity of look" - text by Iwona Kurz  


"Visual seminar - on opaqueness" - text by Agnieszka Pajączkowska