Save the University of Manitoba Photography Club Darkroom

Save the University of Manitoba Photography Club Darkroom

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On March 13, 2020, UMSU University Centre caught fire and sustained extensive damage. Due to UMSU's plans for renovation, the University of Manitoba Photo Club was asked to clear their belongings from 116 Darkroom. On March 31, the Club was informed by UMSU that the renovations would not be finished for approximately 18 months, and after renovations, 116 University Centre would no longer be used as a darkroom, and would be converted for other uses.

This means that students at the University will no longer have a darkroom to develop, print, and scan film. This also means that the Photo Club will no longer have a space on campus to keep all its photographic equipment, which has been collected over several years.

The Photo Club occupied the last public darkroom left on campus, as the darkroom in the School of Art is reserved only for students studying photography. Students who are not in the School of Art and taking photography courses will no longer be able to develop, scan, and print film on campus.

The Photo Club also made film photography extremely affordable for students at the university by selling bulk film at cost, giving members access to a darkroom where they could process unlimited black and white film for free & process colour film at $2 per roll. Aside from the convenience of having a darkroom on campus,it is important to note that these same processes would cost as much as $11–15 per roll of film from any of the few places left in the city that still develop them.

The University of Manitoba’s Photo Club has been running for almost 50 years, which makes it the oldest club in the University. Despite this, the Club has been given no control or say over the situation and has been left powerless against these new decisions. With UMSU having no plans to give the club another room, and renovations already set in motion, we are not left with a lot of options and need the support of Photo Club members, alumni, and students alike.