Photography and Urban Research Workshop on Gig Economy

• Wed 16 – Sun 20 09 2020 •
Momentography of a failure


Momentography of a failure calls photographers, urban researchers, activists, writers, drivers or couriers, to participate in a collaborative research and photography workshop.

Momentography of a failure is a collaborative photography and research project that calls for practicing forms of participatory citizenship by exercising interdisciplinary collaborative creation, curating photo essays by local residents, and digital non-profit publishing.

Momentography of a failure invites experts from various disciplines and local participants to explore the failure(s) of a particular district, rethink the possibilities and problems of their neighborhood, recycle the collective memories of the space and speculate on potential future narratives.

The upcoming workshop in Cologne will deal with the current shift of labor from the industrial economy to the platform economy. This shift has brought unprecedented controversies and new forms of precarity emerging both for the temporary workforce and the dynamics of the city. While companies like Uber and Lieferando take advantage of the tracking data of their drivers and couriers, in our workshop we will collectively explore alternative mapping approaches from their perspective. We will ask how the dynamics and spatial organization of the city are transformed by emerging forms of the platform economy and how various forms of mobility in urban space are produced?

How can photography and urban research interact in understanding various dimensions of those shifts? And how can citizen photojournalism join social movements? We will look at these questions through the example of gig economy workers in the transport and delivery sector (like Lieferando, Uber, Amazon, etc.). The workshop aims to produce photo essays as part of the upcoming exhibition Ghosts, Traces, Echoes: Works in Shifts at the ADKDW (30 10 2020 – 28 03 2021). The workshop will be co-led by Nafiseh Fathollahzadeh, artist and founder of Momentography of a failure, Parham Mortazavian, urban researcher and member of Momentography of a failure, and Orry Mittenmayer, activist and founder of Liefern am Limit, a Cologne-based initiative that fights for better working conditions for couriers in the food delivery sector.


Part 1: Research and Exchange
16–20 September 2020 | 10 am–4 pm | Academyspace, Herwarthstraße 3, 50672 Cologne
Get-together, lectures, presentations and exchange, field research and artistic research.
During the first part of the workshop, we will focus on finding possible collaborations, forming working groups and discussing different methods and approaches. Participants will get insight into the topic through lectures by researchers and activists and Orry Mittenmayer along with his colleagues working in the food delivery sector. By the end of the workshop, working groups will be established and approaches will be defined. Participants will develop the work within their working groups until the second part of the workshop.

Part 2: Work in Progress
Mid-October 2020 | 1–2 days | online
During the second part, we will meet online to present, discuss and edit the work in progress. The next steps will be defined and photo essays will be developed. We will discuss as a group which parts of the work in progress to select for the exhibtion opening on 30 10 2020 and will continue working on the projects for the digital publication via app and for the exhibition.

Part 3: Digital and Print Publication
Mid-November 2020 | 1–2 days | online
The last part of the workshop will be dedicated to finalizing the creative process and preparing the artworks for digital publication on the Momentography of a failure app and for the exhibition.