‘Impact Assessment Plans: consumption and accountability in MA Photography research project proposals’

Alexander, Jesse ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1830-7030 (2021) ‘Impact Assessment Plans: consumption and accountability in MA Photography research project proposals’. In: Expanding Communities of Sustainable Practice, 14th – 15th October 2021, Leeds Arts University (online).

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Abstract / Summary

Following on from Falmouth University’s declaration of a climate emergency in 2019, the MA Photography programme (launched 2016) took the decision to expediate its periodic review last year in order to place sustainability at the core of the programme.

As well as the obvious moral imperative behind this, it was also felt that accountability for environmental and ecological impact across the world of still photography – which bears a profound responsibility for the promotion of mass consumption – currently trails woefully behind other spheres of the creative industries, notably film and television. The MA Photography course has called upon organisations including the BFI/Albert , Adgreen and The Great Reset to support our understanding of sustainable production design and the ecological and environmental impact of advertising and messaging. This will ultimately better prepare our graduates to account for the impact of their practices, who will inevitably be required to do in their professional activities as we decarbonise the economy.

Three core changes to the MA Photography course, as a result of the periodic review, included: the re-titling of one module; the inclusion of a ‘sustainability’ course Learning Outcome that is assessed twice on the programme; and the requirement for students to undertake an ‘Impact Assessment Plan’ when they outline their intentions for the research and development phase of the course, and also for their Final Major Project proposals. The Impact Assessment Plan is an opportunity for students to scrutinise myriad aspects of their practices; from the messaging of their projects to the environmental credentials of their materials and suppliers, identifying ways to reduce or minimise negative environmental and ecological impacts.

April this year saw the first cohort to be challenged with completing an Impact Assessment Plan, the overwhelming majority of whom embraced both the spirit and the detail of the task. Plans included: detailed carbon budgets for proposed projects; scrutiny of the ethical credentials of the manufacturers of their materials and in-depth comparisons of suppliers. We look forward to the opportunity to discuss our implementation of the Impact Assessment Plan and share our experiences.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: Geography & Environment > Climate Change
Research > AIR > Sustainable Design
Courses by Department: The Institute of Photography > Photography
Depositing User: Jesse Alexander
Date Deposited: 16 Nov 2021 09:20
Last Modified: 11 Nov 2022 16:20
URI: https://repository.falmouth.ac.uk/id/eprint/4440


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