Power issues show up in every encounter we have with other people.We can use our way of looking at each other in either oppressing critical or accepting and appreciating way. Choosing an appreciative look enables trust to emerge. We all want to be looked at and seen acceptingly an lovingly – that makes us want to give our best. One way of turning upside down and exploring the power issues in professional helping work in its different forms is the method of Empowering Photography. In the core of this method is the loving and appreciative way of looking, not really the photografic technique. With the accepting and loving look through the camera lense we can give voice and power to those who have been lacking it and thus make real the whole potential of the organisation.
In the workshop we explore and experience what happens when the power of the photographer’s look as an auteur is given to the person or group looked at. The basic method is developed by a Finnish social pedagog and photographer Miina Savolainen and is developed further by tens of pedagogs, social workers, working life developers and consultants. The method is about exploring what happens when we give up our own “knowing” and definitions and surrender ourselves for the interaction with the other. The change it produces is often a feeling of intimacy and commitment that stems form the experience of being understood. It is an ability to listen another human being with deeper concentration and a growing experience of your own ability to show love and respect. In the workshop we will throw ourselves to the process of opening up to see and be seen by each other through the camera lence. We will also be reflecting on the possibilities of the method and its basic ideas to apply on corporate issues like building a shared strategy, making all voices heard to meet the challenges and developing an appreciative and empowering culture.