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Policing the Public Gaze


Arbitrary authoritarianism imposed by ‘jobsworths’ who seek to stop photographers providing us with a record of everyday life and critical moments in history are the subject of this compelling interview. Pauline Hadaway is Director of the unique photography gallery Belfast Exposed and authored the report Policing the Public Gaze published by the Manifesto Club. Joe Earle asks Pauline to explain more.

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Related topics: Civil Liberties, Democracy-Brexit

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laurenboyle said:

a very insightful and thought provoking discussion challenging the fundamentals of our civil rights and appanage to capture the essence of the world and how we see it through the medium of photography and film. It’s interesting how the media and news crews are exempt from being hassled about their authority to photograph and film when they want, where they want, yet us average people are constantly scrutinised. It’s almost as if as a society we are reverting back to the hegemonic dimensions of professionalism vs average joe, in regards to Pauline’s comment about the issues of mistrust in our motivations to photograph and film. Particularly these ‘Jobsworths’ who insist on oppressing our creativity and need for innovation with their intent to cause anxiety with their ridiculous data protection myths!! Well Done Pauline and Worldwrite for acknowledging and raising awareness of these issues and dispelling these absurd myths. If you liked Policing the Public Gaze, then please do watch ‘Freedom to Film.’

pmgabriel3 said:

A good programme that raises interesting points. I like the use of the term “jobsworth”. As well as the general paranoia of bureaucracy I think the problem lies with the “tinpot dictators” who enforce that paranoia. I have to wonder though, is this just human nature? Do we all go a bit mad when we’re given a bit of power? It might be a bit extreme, but is there that much of a difference between an overzealous security guard with an inflated sense of his own importance and a Nazi working at a concentration camp?

karenmcc said:

A great discussion on the frustrating and muddied issue of access to filming on our streets and the danger of restricting people from capturing footage of public spaces.

Could someone who is involved with enforcing the idea that filming in public spaces ISN’T allowed without a permit please comment on their reasoning and give a response to this film and WORLDbyte’s recent report ‘Freedom to Film’?

Vivien said:

The freedom to film, photograph and document our times is imperative for our civil liberties. I found it illuminating when Pauline spoke about how in the past ‘looking’ was not allowed – we couldn’t gaze on the King and when cameras became cheaper there was worry about women and the lower classes getting their hands on cameras and snapping away! Let’s not let these jobsworths stop us now, instead WORLDwrite and WORLDbytes are very serious about challenging this erosion of our freedom everywhere.

naomilamb said:

I commend Pauline Hadaway for her belief in defending people’s right to document and communicate through images and film. It is imperative that people understand that it is NOT illegal to publically take a photo in the street. These ‘jobs worths’ she talks about need to stop twisting their authority and spreading paranoia.

charlie_fox said:

Excellent points made should be watched by all concerned at the erosion of civil liberties, the creeping regulation of everyday life and the democratic deficit. The jobsworths she talks about who stop us filming in public spaces are a menace to democracy.