PODCAST: A Photographic Life, Episode 269: Plus Photographer Julio Mitchel

In episode 269 UNP founder and curator Grant Scott is in his shed reflecting on the slow death of the ‘old school’ photo festival, publishing archives, feedback that is too nice and his inability to use AI.

Plus this week, photographer Julio Mitchel takes on the challenge of supplying Grant with an audio file no longer than 5 minutes in length in which he answer’s the question ‘What Does Photography Mean to You?’

You can here and see the conversation Grant had with Craig Atkinson/Cafe Royal Books for the Royal Photographic Society mentioned in this episode here www.youtube.com/watch?v=-2j8mpMNOWA&t=7s

Julio Mitchel was born and raised in Cuba and has worked in Mexico, Guatemala, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Peru and Brazil. A few months after the Cuban revolution, Mitchel, then 17, went to New York City. Though he had intended to be a lawyer, he didn’t enjoy school and took a series of jobs as a photographic assistant, mostly to fashion photographers. While he was picking up technical skills, he developed the habit of regularly expressing his contempt for the fashion world. His life changed when he took a photography class with Lisette Model at the New School. In the first class, the students showed their work and Model’s critique reduced Mitchel to tears. But he returned to class and she later became a friend. He went on to photograph in the Middle East and Northern Ireland but found himself somewhat lost — too art based for newspapers and magazines; too journalistic for art galleries. He received two grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and published two books that have long been out of print, Tu Me Amas? in 1991 and Triptych” in 1990. Mitchel taught at the School of Visual Arts, Cooper Union and the New School and continued to pursue his personal work. He is now retired from teaching and is trying to organise his unseen photographs of the last 20 years. www.juliomitchel.com

Dr. Grant Scott is the founder/curator of United Nations of Photography, a Senior Lecturer and Subject Co-ordinator: Photography at Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, a working photographer, documentary filmmaker, BBC Radio contributor and the author of Professional Photography: The New Global Landscape Explained (Routledge 2014), The Essential Student Guide to Professional Photography (Routledge 2015), New Ways of Seeing: The Democratic Language of Photography (Routledge 2019). His film Do Not Bend: The Photographic Life of Bill Jay was first screened in 2018 www.donotbendfilm.com. He is the presenter of the A Photographic Life and In Search of Bill Jay podcasts.

© Grant Scott 2023

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