Roboteca is a collaborative image-making workshop based on the topic of «portrait-robot» or photofit used by law enforcement agencies to create identikit images, which often criminalise certain population groups.
The Roboteca methodology subverts this idea. After learning the basic of studio photography and having their portrait taken, participants use the collage technique to create facial composites: new identities for those who have lost theirs while fleeing their countries.
The Roboteca facial composite process is a tool for reflection and denunciation but it also promotes social cohesion and social stability, by creating links and social support for the participants. It is also a way of circumventing image rights, permission, and privacy issues, particularly in workshops with minors.
This is a workshop that also requires discussion, writing, and sharing, so it is a way of opening up a dialogue about image and identity, and a powerful tool through which refugees can consider, express, and transform their ideas regarding identity. In mixing faces, a new identity appears through hybridisation and cultural exchange.
The Roboteca methodology is based on creating portraits and then dividing the face into three strips. These elements take on the power to express feelings and emotions.
SEE/ with their eyes, recognise each other, or close them.
TELL/ speak, and denounce with their mouths.
LISTEN/ feel, breathe with their ears and noses.
These elements are then remixed and shared.
My eyes become yours, his mouth becomes hers, will you lend me your mouth? What does it say?
Roboteca also involves a significant storytelling and writing component. The methodology is a catalyst for sharing stories, encounters, and memories. It assembles words and faces from the roads to exile, in a kind of exquisite corpse.
/skills: the grammar of portraits, images and identity, surveillance and control, studio photography, collage techniques, representing “us”, individual and collective identity, written expression