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    Seeing the Spectacle: Documentary & Protest Photography in Practice - Fall 2024

    Another Individual

    FACULTY Rian Dundon
    DAY / TIME Thursday 6-9pm | September 26 - December 5, 2024*
    *No class on November 28 — Thanksgiving Break
    TUITION $870
    Payment & Refund Policy
    Scholarship Opportunities
    FORMAT Hybrid: Online + Two In-Person Sessions. This class will be primarily hosted as a live, interactive online course utilizing the Zoom platform along with Google Drive for sharing files; two sessions will be hosted in-person (dates TBD). Enrollment is limited to 12 students.
    LEVEL Intermediate
    PREREQS Photography I
    CREDITS 3 – Fulfills Elective requirement for Certificate Program

    This timely course will explore practice and theory related to documentary photography about protests, elections, and the media. Offered during the lead-up to the 2024 presidential election, we will attempt to navigate the froth of modern political photography, spurring participants toward a closer read of our fractured moment and the role of images in it. Students will work to conceptualize their approach to picture making within these contexts, and expand their strategies for seeing current events in creative and unconventional ways.

    Participants in this course will be expected to produce—or continue working on—a body of work demonstrating a coherent visualization of a relevant subject. Emphasis will be placed on establishing a distinctive personal style and approach to visual storytelling. We will use the photographic process as a means for developing self awareness, considering ethics in representation, consent, surveillance, and propaganda, and to study the work of photographers whose consideration of Boorstin’s “thicket of unreality” goes deeper than the surface.

    Never before have social movements been more thoroughly documented than they are today. Conversely, its never been more difficult to meaningfully photograph public dissent. This course will explore some of the potentials and pitfalls for imaging protests and critical political discourse in the mediated age.


    • Weekly attendance is vital to student success in PCNW courses. We require that students attend the first meeting in order to retain their spot in the class. A waiver may be granted if permission is given by, and subsequent arrangements made with, both the PCNW Registrar and Faculty. Please see our Education Policies for details about attendance policies and academic expectations.
    • PCNW adheres to a strict payment, cancellation and refund policy. Please review our Payment & Refund Policies prior to registration.
    • Intermediate and advanced courses have prerequisites which students must satisfy prior to enrollment. Prerequisites may be waived based on experience or prior courses taken through other institutions. To verify that you meet the prerequisite(s) for a course, contact Jennifer Brendicke, Registrar at jbrendicke@pcnw.org.
    • Students are required to provide their own camera, unless otherwise noted in the course description. If you have questions about camera equipment or resources, contact us at pcnw@pcnw.org.
    • Additional materials and supplies, not covered by a materials fee for a course, are the responsibility of the student. Detailed information about course expectations, required texts and materials will be provided at the start of the quarter.
    • Students should prepare to spend several hours per week completing assignments outside of class, which may require use of the PCNW facilities; view our Rental Rates for details about additional fees. Rental fees for use of PCNW Facilities are a separate cost from tuition.


    Images © Rian Dundon