Kazuma Obara





»Essay/Book Review



16th November, 2018, Amsterdam : Finding Your Own Way of Storytelling

  • 2018/11/5

16th November, 2018


A photo book is a tangible object which enables photographers to carry out various ways of storytelling, not only with the use of photos and texts, but also paper, format, binding, weight and maybe smell. Every single tiny detail of a book has a meaning, and stimulates five senses of the reader that will help them to go deeper into the story. Therefore, the person who makes the photo book has to know all the reasons for certain choices.


Through this one day workshop, we will discuss the ways to find your own visual story and concept, the ways to bring your ideas into the book format. After the discussion, we will edit and decide the sequence of your project. Thereafter, we will apply the sequence into a rough dummy book, using folded A4 paper and adhesive tape. The story is given a beginning and an end.


At the end of workshop, you will have the opportunity to present your project in dummy book format to the audience at iMPACT DOC.


Obara’s documentary projects have been published as “Reset(Lars Muller Publishers/2012)”, “Silent Histories(Editorial RM/2015)” and “Exposure(Editorial RM/2017), but he has also created more than 60 handmade dummy books himself during his own documentary projects – from research stage to closing stage, to find the right ways of storytelling. Those processes have been helping him to create finalised photo books as unique, multiple layered books.





16th November 2018,  9AM to 20PM

Location IMPACT DOC , Keizersgracht 166, 1015 CZ Amsterdam


››››9:00 – 10:00
Lecture by Kazuma Obara
Finding your own concept and your way of storytelling


››››10:00- 12:00
Discussion Part 1
Each participant has 20 – 30 minutes to do their presentation and discuss concepts and ideas to make a photobook.


››››12:00-13:00 Lunch Break (iMPACT DOC will serve a light meal: Sandwiches and coffee/tea)


››››13:00-14:30 Discussion Part 2
Each participant has 20 – 30 minutes to do their presentation and discuss concepts and ideas to make a photobook.


››››15:00 – 18:30 Editing and Production
Sequence and rhythm, making narratives of a first dummy using folded A4 paper and adhesive tape.


››››19:00 – 20:00 Presentation
All participants have the great opportunity to show their work to the audience at iMPACT DOC.



«Call for application»

The call for application is for photographers/visual based artists, but also for people who are working on a photo project and are looking for ideas about the procedure and the finalisation of their photographic project, and would like to tell their story with a photo book.
Workshop fee : €95,- o (including lunch)
*The applicants who are being chosen to the workshop are able to pay the workshop fee in 2 working days to finalise their registration. We will send a link that you can pay via Paypal or Credit card.


Application deadline: 14th (Wed) of November.


Maximum number of participants : 10 (Minimum :5)


To apply, please send a PDF-document to kazuma924(at)gmail.com by Monday, November 16, 2018. The PDF should not exceed 6MB, be written in English and include:


1. Name
2. Profession
3. Address
4. Email
5. Phone
6. Background (CV listing education and training as a photographer), website
7. Motivation (Brief motivation letter explaining why you would like to participate in the workshop – 100 to 200 words)
8. Portfolio (15 images from a reportage or a series for workshop) and a short statement


To participate in this workshop, beforehand you are asked to bring along 50 to 100 printed selected images (each size: A6) from your project for discussion and editing process. It is not necessary that you print on hi-quality paper. Photo copies on plain paper is enough.


For any questions and for further information please contact at kazuma924(at)gmail.com



Kazuma Obara

(Japan, 1985) is a photographer and a photo bookmaker. He studied MA Documentary Photography at the London College of Communication. In his projects, Obara sets the focus on hidden victims of society. He has been publishing 7 titles as handmade photo books and 3 titles with a publishing house. His first book «Reset Beyond Fukushima» by Lars Müller Publishers, Switzerland, 2012, depicted the tragedy of nuclear disaster and tsunamis in Japan. In 2014, his engagement with the victims of the Second World War in Japan led to the handmade photo book «Silent History», which was shortlisted for the Paris Photo / Aperture Photobook Award in 2014. The book was selected by TIME, Lens Culture, and by Telegraph as Best Photo Book 2014. New editions of this book were published by Editorial RM(Spain/Mexico) in an edition of 1900 copies.
In 2015, his project ‘Exposure’ was selected for World Press Photo 2016 People Category 1st Prize and won a Magnum Graduation Award. The project was published by Editorial RM in 2017.



iMPACT DOC— originating from the online platform and project agency iMPACT JOURNEY – is a physical platform, exhibition space and non-profit foundation for documentary photography and film, exploring and addressing global themes and issues. Inside and outside of the exhibition space, special attention will be paid to innovative art projects, transmedia and visual storytelling, impact measurement, experimentation, (interdisciplinary) education, dialogue and interaction.



I was founded on the urgency and necessity of social and environmental change to combat (rising) inequality, exploitation, climate change and to overcome the huge misunderstanding and misrepresentation of ‘the other’.
In the Global North the perception of extreme poverty, hunger and misery still prevails when thinking about countries in the Global South. It is oftentimes a big misconception that prevents sustainable investments, tourism and in general a sense of connectedness. It is about time to present a more balanced image of both problems and opportunities.