Downside to Documenting?

Delivering a programme that has an emphasis on learning and evaluating means that we are constantly documenting what we do, in order to collect evidence of our successes and challenges. The easiest ways to do this of course are though photography, film, and audio. But is there a downside to all this documenting?

The below extract is from an email from Circuit member, Hannah, raising the issue:

‘There is one thing that I feel is perhaps part of a larger debate. That is photographing and filming the group. I have been involved in doing it but have also felt what it is like to be on the other side. When I was photographing people I was worried people didn’t like it. I think it’s ok to focus on the work though. I realise that photographing and filming is a really great way to communicate what’s been going on. But I also think it asks interesting questions about what the group meetings are for? And perhaps sometimes I question whether it affects the supportive and quite personal environment for young people. Occasionally I have felt like it intrudes on the group. Maybe I’m the only one but sometimes it’s hard to be relaxed and fully engaged with session if it’s being filmed etc. I imagine this applies to many education programmes in museums as well. it’s not a massive issue but wonder whether anyone else has raised it. And also I feel like there are so many positives sometimes it’s hard to think of things to criticise!’

Hannah photographing Circuit members during preparations for The Way to Cambournia screening.

Hannah photographing preparations for The Way to Cambournia screening.