The visibility of power has always been indispensable for dictatorships — and photography was the leading medium of visual representation throughout most of the twentieth century. Particularly in dictatorships that lack independent media outlets, small public spheres or “kleine Öffentlichkeiten” (Gerhards/Neidhardt) can emerge. They are used by different communication communities, also in visual terms. The conference focuses on these various small public spaces and the attempts of dictatorial regimes to control these visual representations of the socio-political order, including private production.
Beyond that, the conference will examine the contents and aesthetics of photography, the conditions under which images are produced on a daily basis and the use and distribution of photos.