Process Wing

Magic Insta Material: A Workshop on Selfies and Portraits for Teens

Running 12-3:30pm Sat 20 July
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An initiative of the Critical Academy.
Bookings must be made by parents or guardians, a permission form will be required to be signed following the booking.

Who is this for?

This course is aimed at young adults, up to the age of 16.


How do I represent myself? How do I represent others? In a workshop on representation, we look at historical and contemporary selfies and portraits together and discuss our shared experiences and ideas of representation. How do rappers, witches, insta-influencers, artists and politicians show themselves?

In the second part of the workshop, we decide whether to create a self-portrait, photograph each other or ask passers-by on the street. We are experimenting with small changes in the photo through different textiles in the background, combine our photographs with magical questions, spacey virtual reality filters or trippy hashtags and turn the entire representation game on its head. Using our smartphones as an artistic medium and taking a look at all the possibilities of the communicating camera that we constantly carry with us.

In the last part of the workshop, we deal with the collective selection of work, collaborate together both digital and analog and look at how the narration behind the portrait unfolds.


Anna Ehrenstein works in transdisciplinary artistic practice with an emphasis on research and mediation. She is using photography, video, installation or sculpture to reverberate the intersections and divergences of high and low cultures and their socio-economic and political constitutions.

Born in Germany with Albanian blood and heritage realities and reflections around migration-related visual culture and diasporic narrations form her main focus due to her own intercultural experiences. She studied photography and media art and currently started post-gradual studies, while exhibiting internationally for example at the Centquatre in Paris, the Month of Photography in Los Angeles, the Rencontres de la Photography in Arles or the Shang 8 Gallery in Beijing.

In her practice as an art mediator she priorities working with varied social groups for example as part of the 10th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art or within the Young Arts Neukölln Art Center in Berlin.

Upcoming shows include amongst others Museum Winterthur in Switzerland, Museum für bildende Kunst in Leipzig and Bazament in Tirana.

About the Critical Academy

The Critical Academy opens up a new radical space where to learn, research and examine contemporary art practices around Photography and their contexts, as much as the arts management and cultural policy that affects them. The academy has been created by PhotoIreland Foundation in a bid to develop an educational space outside the traditional institutions where practitioners and theorists can gather to experiment and challenge contemporary ideas that affect their practice.

The Critical Academy offers a number of opportunities to actively participate in its programme, aiming at times at very specific backgrounds, with three main components: a new educational space for Seminars; group Research on key projects; professional Development and Support programmes for artists and Arts administrators.

The Critical Academy is a project by PhotoIreland Foundation. Find out more at edu.photoireland.org