Phoboko (short for: Hong Kong Photobook Club) was established in February 2020. It is a platform that brings people together through photobooks and the topics they contain. It adopts a distributed authorship approach in which participants with different experiences contribute and drive the community. As a community, Phoboko interrogates photography as a medium, promote the vision of local Hong Kong artists while in dialogue with other photographers in the Asia-Pacific region.
In our monthly Photobook Club meetings, photobooks are used as “social objects” for dialogues and knowledge exchange between participants. Group discussion ranged from how creators convey their concepts using photography and materialising them into photobook form, to exploring the culture, society, and history that the photobooks make visible. The community engagement approach in these meetings allows participants with different experiences to contribute and evolve topics for discussion. It fosters multiple ways of meaning-making which in turn drives the community to discover other interest points to photobooks.