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Cathrine Bublatzky publishes two new articles

08. Jun. 2020

Dr. Cathrine Bublatzky, assistant professor to the Chair of Visual and Media Anthropology at the HCTS, got two new contributions published in leading journals. The articles focus on the material and performative dimension of diasporic aesthetics as visible in the practices of artistic photography and the so-called “archives of migration.”


Because of the inherently transcultural nature of diasporic movements, the field of Migration Studies is a critical component of the ongoing research at the HCTS. Dr. Bublatzky´s work is the result of her Postdoctoral project on "Contemporary photography as a cultural practice by diasporic Iranians in Europe," funded by the Baden-Württemberg Foundation. The project explores the visual culture of contemporary photography as a tool of social expression and emancipation across geo-political borders and beyond state-controlled media narratives.

The article on "Aesthetics of an Iranian diaspora – politics of belonging and difference in contemporary art photography," published in the Journal of Aesthetics & Culture, focuses on the representation of memories and stories of exile in artistic photography. The piece interrogates why visual and performative strategies of storytelling matter as fundamental methods not only of self-representation, but also of transcultural expressions of “belonging” across various cultural and geographical borders. Taking the work of exiled Iranian artist Parastou Forouhar as paradigmatic of the concept of diasporic aesthetics, Bublatzky explores how photography constitutes a social practice that carries the potential to create relations of solidarity between migratory groups.

For the International Journal for History, Culture and Modernity, Bublatzky contributed the piece "Aesthetics and Materiality of Knowledge: (Un)sighted Archives of Migration." The article explores the perspectives that emerged during the workshop of the same name, held at the HCTS in November 2018, which had encouraged a comparative discussion among anthropologists, artists, photographers, and historians on the theme of the archive in a migratory context. Acknowledging that archives of migration possess historical and aesthetic dimensions that often remain unnoticed, it discusses how we can engage with the performative dimension implicit in these materials as repositories of ongoing and dynamic experiences of movement.


Dr. Cathrine Bublatzky is a trained photographer and anthropologist specialized in South Asian Studies. She is currently assistant professor to the Chair of Visual and Media Anthropology at the HCTS. Her research and teaching activity draw from the fields of Visual and Media Anthropology, Popular Culture, and Urban and Migration Studies, with a regional focus on Europe, South Asia, and the Middle East. In 2019, she activated a collaboration with the local network-activist group Migration Hub and the Roadto_ Initiative.



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