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@SharedFuture

Book review: Reporting beyond the Problem (eds. Karen HOPKINSON and Nicole DAHMEN)

Book review: Reporting beyond the Problem (eds. Karen HOPKINSON and Nicole DAHMEN)
by Allan LEONARD
9 September 2021

While there is a historic tradition of journalism that strives towards a common, public good (however defined), this has occurred in a paradigm of a professionalisation of journalism and a business model where editors responded to a pressure to publish content — whether print, radio, or television — that attracted audiences and satisfied advertisers. Some may say these were halcyon days, when advertising revenue subsidised reportage that took time and effort, such as investigative journalism or in-depth coverage. 

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@MrUlster

Book review: This is Magritte

A concise, well written, and thoughtfully illustrated book about a master of surrealism. Learnt interesting insights about Rene Magritte. One can appreciate how aspects of his life affected his artistic work, including his family experiences, coming of age, and his (sometimes fraught) relationships with friends and peers. The book also provides good explanations of the contests for artistic narratives, for example the distinction between the Parisian and Belgian surrealists (the role of music is key). And clarity of Magritte’s views about his own work, for example his firm rebuttal of psychoanalytical interpretations: “In my painting, a bird is a bird. And a bottle is a bottle, not a symbol of a womb.” (But we can ask, “Is it a pipe?”)

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@MrUlster @NorthernSlant

Exposure therapy: Natural Connections exhibition

Exposure therapy: Natural Connections exhibition
by Allan LEONARD
17 June 2021

Belfast Exposed launched its exhibition, “Natural Connections”, which showcases 60 shortlisted images, from over 1,400 received. The competition ran earlier this year, asking people to submit images that represented connections with nature, which “sustained, surrounded, supported, and encouraged people and communities” during the pandemic.

Categories
Essays Photography

Book review: World Press Photo 2021

Book review: World Press Photo 2021
by Allan LEONARD
26 June 2021

World Press Photo 2021 is a book compilation of finalists of its annual competition. Entries are submitted by professional visual journalists. There were nine juries across the photo and digital storytelling contests.

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@SharedFuture @SluggerOToole

The media’s role in peacebuilding: none of its business?

The media’s role in peacebuilding: none of its business?
by Allan LEONARD
9 June 2021

So is peacebuilding none of the media’s business? That was a conclusion that broadcaster and journalist, Declan Harvey, posed to a panel of fellow journalists and writers at an online webinar delivered through Belfast City Council’s PEACE IV Programme, which is funded through the EU and managed by the Special EU Programmes Body.

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@FactCheckNI

Disinformation in a pandemic: sharing fact checkers’ experiences

Disinformation in a pandemic: sharing fact checkers’ experiences
23 March 2021

As part of the Imagine! Belfast Festival of Ideas and Politics, editors from three fact-checking organisations across these isles shared their experiences of work during the pandemic — Claire Milne (Full Fact), Christine Bohan (TheJournal.ie), and Allan Leonard (FactCheckNI). The event was hosted by Ciaran Hanna from InsideIreland.ie.

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@NorthernSlant

Documenting natural connections through photography

Documenting natural connections through photography
by Allan LEONARD
10 April 2021

Melanie Law, who has just joined the Eve Blair Show on BBC Radio Ulster, interviewed Christopher Barr and me for her inaugural feature (at 26:00). The discussion was on photography and a competition that Belfast Exposed is hosting, in conjunction with Translink and Arts & Business Northern Ireland. Christopher and I shared experiences as a teacher and student, respectively.

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@SharedFuture

Appropriate and accessible storytelling in museums and heritage sites

Appropriate and accessible storytelling in museums and heritage sites
by Allan LEONARD
26 March 2021

During an Imagine! Festival event, academics and practitioners shared their knowledge and experiences of the use of storytelling in museum and heritage site environments, as a means of evoking emotion in appropriate and accessible ways.

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@MrUlster

Book review: Irish Summers (Harry GRUYAERT)

Book review: Irish Summers (Harry GRUYAERT)
by Allan LEONARD
21 March 2021

Harry Gruyaert’s work is recognisable by its saturated colours of thoughtfully chosen hues. The interplay with light is also crucial. There are images in Irish Summers that exemplify such decisive moments, when colour and light come together to satisfy Gruyaert’s quest for sensual beauty in the otherwise banal.

Categories
Essays Photography

Book review: Old Ireland in Colour (John BRESLIN & Sarah-Anne BUCKLEY)

Book review: Old Ireland in Colour
by Allan LEONARD
14 March 2021

Old Ireland in Colour is an ongoing project of colourising black and white images by photographers in Ireland in the late 19th to early 20th century. The catalyst was John Breslin working on colourising some photos of his grandparents, when he discovered an automated system called DeOldify. He looked for more images to colourise, starting with old photographs of NUI Galway, then the Galway/Connemara area, and then of Ireland as a whole.

Categories
Essays Photography

Book review: New Ways of Seeing (Grant SCOTT)

Book review: New Ways of Seeing (Grant SCOTT)
by Allan LEONARD
21 February 2021

We read books of fiction and non-fiction, and may acquire a respect for how difficult it is to create such works ourselves. We are taught how to read the written word, and by practising reading, tend to appreciate its transformative power. The novel we re-read. The poem that lifts our spirits. The biography that provokes empathy. We call it literacy — to communicate effectively and make sense of the world.

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@NorthernSlant

Book review: A Pocket History of Northern Ireland (Richard KILLEEN)

Book review: A Pocket History of Northern Ireland (Richard KILLEEN)
by Allan LEONARD
29 December 2020

Occasionally I am approached for an image to be used in a book publication. Recently, this was for one that I made of a mural celebrating the television series, Derry Girls. Disclosure: I granted permission, with payment, for the image in A Pocket History of Northern Ireland, by Richard Killeen and published by Gill Books.