At the beginning of the workshops this weekend we discussed the direction of our photography project. During this meeting, some main themes arose. These themes included the impact of politics and religion on LGBTQ+ identity in Northern Ireland, and how these subjects affect family and personal relationships. We mapped our conversations about all kinds of keywords, themes and ideas, including options for a name for our project, and potential ideas for the work we are making that will be exhibited. Although we have not yet officially named the project, we considered the idea of re-enacting news stories and important events regarding the subject of LGBTQ+ life in Northern Ireland. We also discussed whether we should give a negative, neutral or positive view of these events. I believe our depictions of LGBTQ+ life in Northern Ireland, either positive or negative, could be a very important element of the project, as this contributes towards the message we are perpetuating to the public in general through the exhibition. I personally would like the project to depict LGBTQ+ life as truthfully as possible. I have personally found that whilst I experience some prejudice, my life is fairly similar to that of a heterosexual woman and this human aspect is something I feel is not represented enough in media surrounding LGBTQ+ people.

Later in the afternoon on Sunday, we explored the Belfast Exposed archive and then went into the darkroom to experiment with making photographs. Inspired by this experimental work, we went home with the task of photographing our everyday lives, using both digital and disposable cameras, in relation to some of the themes that emerged over the weekend. The thought process of taking out the camera and setting up the shot has so far helped me to create some really interesting images. However, I have found that frequently I have forgotten to bring my camera to certain places and have ended up taking quite a few pictures on my phone!

– Natalie