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Workshop: Keeping an Eye on Photography

Venue: Heidelberg Centre for Transcultural Studies, Karl Jaspers Centre,
Organizer: Dr. Cathrine Bublatzky, Chair of Visual and Media Anthropology

The workshop explores the visual culture of photography as central medium of socio-political expression. With a focus on different genres of photography, this interdisciplinary workshop asks for studies that engage with photography as cultural knowledge production created by artists, journalists or private persons. Following the idea of a ‘photographic situation’ which strongly interlinks photographer, photographed and spectator, the workshop emphasises the multiplicity of (trans)cultural interaction that photography creates according to its production, circulation, and spectating.

Pursuing the belief that ‘global cultures of photography’ require a critical eye in order to examine their aesthetic and cultural roles beyond existing ‘colonial/post-colonial’ paradigms, the discussion shall initiate a critical exchange about the potential of analogue and digital photography in shaping and generating citizenship (Azoulay) as this is considered a main challenge in both - historical and contemporary - times. In this context, the workshop examines not only the production, usage and circulation of photography, but follows a particular interest in those moments when photography produces a “sensory realm of the social” (Edwards) in and beyond different cultural and regional contexts.

The workshop will take place at the same time as the international curated Biennale für aktuelle Fotografie. Farewell Photography (9.9-5.11.17) in the Rhein-Neckar Region which brings together striking artistic reactions to the ever-ongoing transformation that photography undergoes as a “medium of democratic articulation and participation, but also of propaganda and commercial appropriation” (website). Taking the Biennale and its themes/artistic positions as another reference point for our discussion, the workshop will include visits to some of the exhibitions.

Please find the program here.

For more information about the project, please visit the project homepage here: Contemporary photography as a cultural practice by diasporic Iranians in Europe.