The New Forest is a five-year collaboration between The Institute of Critical Zoologists (ICZ) and SIPF, unfolding across a series of masterclasses and culminating in an exhibition or a book. In its second year, the 3-day masterclass invites artists to embark on long-term projects re-examining humankind’s relationship with nature, alongside the Founder of ICZ, Robert Zhao Renhui, and the invited guest instructor — Anna-Sophie Springer, Researcher, Editor, and Director of the publishing atelier K. Verlag in Berlin. The workshop’s thematic discussions focus on the art of noticing narratives of human and nonhuman species in our daily environments, especially in unconventional places beyond parks, nature reserves, or the zoo. 

Over three days, Robert will guide participants to develop a personal project and vision that reconsiders ecology and its possibilities, while Anna-Sophie will offer critical perspectives on curatorial and editorial methodologies in expanding the work. Some issues that will be investigated the consequences of the alleged separation between culture and nature, as well as the privileging of humans over nonhuman species.

The projects will be in (but not limited to) lens-based media. The New Forest will have a dedicated page on the SIPF website; this page will hold an archive of all proceedings and works from this masterclass, which is suitable for individuals looking to embark on a long-term project. It is also suitable for those interested in nature and its entanglements with history, science, and society.

  • Participants should show a good level of photographic aptitude and desire to learn.
  • Participants will be expected to develop a positive attitude towards critical self-reflection, discussion and constructive critique.
  • Participants should prepare their portfolio presentations and artistic discourse ahead of the workshop.

Brief outline of activities
  • 21 Sep, 3pm to 7pm
    Introduction to concepts, brainstorming, sharing of examples and project pitching
  • 23 Sep, 10am to 3pm
    Fieldwork research in forest, a lecture by Anna-Sophie and feedback session
  • 25 Sep, 1pm to 5pm
    Final presentations and critique session



Image: © Robert Zhao Renhui. Untimely meditations 3.


Supported by



Robert Zhao Renhui
Institute of Critical Zoologists

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