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Intercultural photography workshop: meeting with mindfulness

Intercultural photography workshop: meeting with mindfulness

Is mindful photography possible in the era of quick snapshots taken with mobile phones and the internet overloaded with images? Slow photography seems to be a relic from the pre-digital age. Yet, there is a reason why mindfulness is gaining popularity in our overwhelming world. It helps us tune out distractions and increases our focus, and so does mindful photography. You can test these assumptions for yourself during a contemplative photography workshop, organized by SWPS University's Department of Graphic Design in Wrocław in collaboration with the Institute for Migration and Repatriate Issues in Oerlinghausen.

July 23–29, 2022
Oerlinghausen, Germany

Explore mindfulness and (non)presence in photography

Over the recent years, photography has shifted from analogue to digital, cameras became smaller and cheaper, and the photographic process has been reduced to merely pressing a button. Therefore, people all over the world achieve similar results when taking a picture. Despite the increasing automation and algorithmization of the creative process, we want to focus on the art of photographic observation, supported by intuitive tools (such as pencils, a compass, light-sensitive paper, and street photography) and various components of nature.

During the workshop, we will mount outdoor photography exhibitions focused on processes, ways of seeing, observations, visual forms, expressions, and stories. More importantly, those exhibitions will teach us to perceive and see ourselves in the context of our own (and at the same time: social) environment.

The participants will have a chance to listen to inspiring lectures and watch films about photo manipulation. Together we will practice observation and mindful photography as well as analyze and interpret photos. We will also design ephemeral art installations situated in landscape.

Who should attend?

We invite young adults under 27 years of age, living in Poland or Germany, in particular those interested in intercultural communication and practicing mindfulness through photography.

The workshop will be conducted in the following languages: English, German and Polish.

The application deadline is June 30, 2022. The number of participants is limited. Apply now

Cost: EUR 80 (including accommodation, food, and the workshop) and travel costs. Travel costs will be reimbursed up to PLN 200 (approximately EUR 44).

The workshop is co-financed by the German-Polish Youth Office (GPYO).

Intercultural photography workshop program

  1. Exercises
    • Reconnaissance and light measurement at the Philosophers' Alley (Philosophenweg, Oerlinghausen)
    • Grain – inspired by Blow-Up, a film by Michelangelo Antonioni, we will interfere with the cityscape of Oerlinghausen using film grain. The participants will choose 3 out of the following different types of interference: active, passive, dynamic, static, aesthetic, non-aesthetic, maximum, minimum.
    • Masks – using found materials we will create masks of ourselves or a selected philosopher. While presenting the object we will aim to illuminate it in a unique way.
    • Equilibrium – using light modules we will create compositions that balance organic and geometric elements.
    • Trace of a trace – using drawings, photos and texts about photography and images of paintings we will reconstruct a sightseeing route in the Oerlinghausen park. In the photographic documentation of the trail we will look for the connection between the sign and its location.
    • Lost lanes – using a ream of paper and a collection of diagrams and stamps depicting tree lanes of the Grabiszynski Park in Wrocław, we will reconstruct selected layouts of trees in Oerlinghausen.
  2. Extracurricular activities
    • Mandalas – we will create sand pictures based on historical portrait photographs.
    • Black box – we will use a camera and a notebook to document inspiring props, people and situations. Each person will be given one hour to use the black box and will be allowed to take only one photo.
  3. Optional activities
    • A trip to Marta Herford Museum for Art, Architecture, and Design.
    • Making prints and practicing photographic exposure at a service point in Oerlinghausen.



Nike Alkema
Nike Alkema

Is a political scientist and the Head of Heimvolkshochschule St. Hedwigs-Haus.

Michał Jakubowicz
Michał Jakubowicz
Ph.D. / Assistant Professor

Is a visual artist, a researcher at the Department of Graphic Design at SWPS University in Wrocław, and a lecturer at the Eugeniusz Geppert Academy of Art and Design in Wrocław. He practices art following the neo-avant-garde paradigm. He takes photographs, creates objects and installations, and experiments with images and words. He published several photography books and two poetry collections.

Dorota Płuchowska
Dorota Płuchowska

Is an academic teacher at the Department of Graphic Design at SWPS University in Wrocław. Her professional interests include modeling social communication systems, in particular interdisciplinary and intercultural teams, and change by design in organizations.


  • Arrival and check-in – July 23 at 12:00
  • Welcome event – July 23 at 17:00
  • Dinner – July 23 at 18:00
  • Workshops start: July 24 at 9:30
  • Workshops end: July 29 at 13:00

Date and Location

July 23–29, 2022
Villa Welchen, Am Lehmstich 15, Oerlinghausen


Dorota Płuchowska
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Institut für Migrations- und Aussiedlerfragen Heimvolkshochschule St. Hedwigs-Haus e. V.

Department of Graphic Design at SWPS University in Wrocław