Who and What is Phonar Nation?

Phonar (short for photography and narrative) was an award winning undergraduate class in Photography designed and delivered by professional photographer Jonathan Worth. In 2009 he put it online and said anyone could do it for free which led to tens of thousands of people from all over the world joining in.
Read more about Phonar here: http://www.wired.com/2011/08/free-online-class-shakes-up-photo-education
Read more about Jonathan here: http://boingboing.net/2015/09/24/the-future-of-photography-edu.html

Watch Jonathan make a 5-minute pitch for this project at DML15 in Los Angeles this summer:

Phonar Nation was another class designed by Jonathan with help from the University of California, Phonar alumni and contributing professionals for “at-risk” youth aged 12-17. It was delivered as part of the Cities of Learning initiative in seven US cities to over 250,000 young people in libraries, community centres and schools over the summer of 2014. The site has continued to live on since and is used by parents and teachers all over the world as an introduction to ideas of visual literacy and digital fluency – in other words how to speak clearly with images and, in a world where everyone is talking at the same time, how to get heard.

Why are you doing this?

The people who volunteer to collaborate on Phonar Nation projects are all in some way committed to enabling people to better participate in their own representation and that of their communities through photography. We mostly come from photographic and / or academic backgrounds.

How are you funded?

Jonathan is a professional editorial photographer and is also employed as a Senior Researcher by Newcastle University’s Open Lab. Open Lab are funding Jonathan’s time on this project and have supported the design and building of the website.

What is selfless selfie?

A campaign to raise awareness of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy using photography, by taking a socially inclusive act, the selfie (everyone takes them), and pointing out how this is in fact socially exclusive for many in the DMD community (if you can’t hold a smart phone, let alone a camera, it’s not easy to make a selfie).
We have designed a simple portraiture activity that should be fun and informative for a young person to take. The idea is to make a photograph that says something about you, not just that shows what you look like.

How can I join in?

1. By liking the pictures that people make, retweeting their tweets and sharing with your networks.
2. By making a selfless selfie (a selfie in which you make the Link4Duchenne sign) and sharing it with your networks tagged #SelflessDMD
3. By making a selfless pledge to raise awareness or raise money for one of the Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy charities. #SelflessDMD

Is Phonar Nation or SelflessSelfi.es linked to a particular DMD charity?


Can I do more photography classes like this?

Yes, head on over to www.phonarnation.org and there’s a whole course for you to get your teeth into.