“Suppose that whatever we’ve done, felt, and thought has always happened in the thick of images.” (Anand Pandian, Reel Word: An Anthropology of Creation)
The ‘visual turn’ has long been turning in critical and cultural studies of law (see Douzinas & Nead 1999). In the past twenty-five years, a growing body of scholarship has evolved that emphasises law’s “constitutive imbrication” (Crawley 2020) with an array of visual forms, and elaborates on the ways in which images “shape and transform legal life” (Sarat et al. 2005).
Weaving together an eclectic set of theories, concepts, methods and materials, such studies refuse thin readings of images as merely illustrative of law, and invite us to think more deeply about their ideological and visual operations – about the meanings they carry and make available, about their material presence and affective effects, and about the cultural-political and cultural-legal work they perform across their multiple contexts of production, circulation and reception.
Visualizations are widely understood to facilitate communication between academic historians and an interested public. They seem to hold great potential to open up urban historiography towards the ideals of “Citizens Science”. With this session we want to initiate a critical discussion on visualizations as a mean to engage actors beyond academia.
EAUH 2024, Session S26 “Visual Representations as a Path to Participatory Urban History?”
Session organizers: Kathrin Meißner, Sebastian Haumann
Screenshot der Website: EAUH 2024 Cities at the Boundaries
Visualizations have become an integral part of urban historiography because they are seen as a means to reach out to a broader public. This includes the reproduction of historical photographs or plans but also mapping techniques and increasingly interactive digital representations aimed at engaging diverse actors beyond academia. However, the potential of visualizations to serve as a catalyst for communicating urban history across different audiences has not yet been discussed systematically.
Secure and precise personal identification is essential for the continuation of socioeconomic activities during a pandemic. In Japan, the main region of focus for this research, this became even clearer between 2020 and 2021 when multiple cases of online fraud involving identity theft took place, including a series of document forgery to receive a financial relief package and taking online job tests for someone else. When the next pandemic and the next lockdown come in the future, our society needs to be better prepared to face this challenge of continuing life under severely restricted in-person communication.
While there are various means of identification in our society today, such as fingerprints, PINs and passwords, identification by means of a photo ID is one of the most commonly used methods. Even with the emergence of new technologies such as facial recognition, ID card with portrait photographs still play an important role as they have already achieved a wide social acceptance and they are relatively cheap to produce or obtain. This trend is unlikely to change when a next pandemic compels us to replace face to face contacts with online interactions. Learning how portrait photographs have functioned in the context of personal identification, therefore, has policy relevance in our contemporary world in addition to being an intriguing subject of study in the field of visual history.
In order to gain historical insight into this issue, this study conducts a historical analysis of the policy debates and public discourses over the spread of personal identification technologies through a case study of ID photographs in 20th century Japan (see photograph 1).
Over recent years, several private photos of the persecution of the Hungarian Jews have been made accessible to the public online. However, due to the lack of historical context and basic metadata, these photographs remain difficult to trace. This problem is particularly significant for international researchers without knowledge of Hungarian.
In 2020, I started examining ways to design and develop online exhibitions, and this short essay outlines the process and results: the online gallery “Forced Labour, Hungary 1940”. The aim of this project was to present and contextualise one small collection of family materials – two photo albums and a diary – to make them accessible for a broader, international public.
Ervin Szántó CC-BY-SA-3.0
Photographer: Ervin Szántó. A group of forced labourers wearing tricolour armbands with family members.
Teaser der Website: Netzwerk topografische Bildmedien, arthistoricum.net – Fachinformationsdienst Kunst
Topographic visual media are produced and used in a wide variety of fields, such as science, art, the military, administration, jurisdiction and tourism. The Network Topographic Visual Media aims to understand and examine the functions, applications, and interconnections of topographic representations. Thus, it provides a public platform for academic debate and exchange between research projects and approaches from different disciplines. In our workshops, current research projects are discussed.
Topographic visual media have been and continue to be produced and used in a wide variety of fields, such as science, art, the military, administration, jurisdiction and tourism. Accordingly, the field of investigation includes maps and sea charts, topographic sketches, diagrams and plans, the mapping of planets and seas, and virtual spaces in computer graphics as well as landscape paintings, drawings and prints. There are many overlaps between these visual media in terms of techniques and types of spatial representation.
Ain Protsin, “Girls from Supilinn”, ca. 1988. Gelatin silver print. Courtesy of the artist. © Indrek Grigor
- November 2022 – 12. Februar 2023
Queuing as a quintessential experience of Soviet everyday life: hardly any other motif has shaped our images of the late Soviet Union as much as the long lines of people persevering in front of shops and grocery stores. Besides hopes of purchasing essential and rare goods, the social aspect of this practice was also important, as exemplified by Vladimir Sorokin’s 1983 novel “The Queue” surrealistically exploring interactions of people queuing for an unknown commodity, or Olga Grushin’s 2010 book “The Line”, which unfolds a Soviet family’s everyday longings, hopes and obsessions based on rumours about a concert by a famous exiled composer, and a street kiosk that may or may not have tickets on sale.
At the beginning of the 20th century population growth, urbanisation and housing shortage were challenges throughout Europe. Consequently, epidemics and even pandemics were common. However, during the same era, significant advances in medicine occurred, leading in more effective vaccines, antibiotics, and chemicals against vermin. Moreover, healthy lifestyle was promoted via campaigns, including educational posters. Simultaneously, the concept of the new, modern citizen evolved.
In our research project, we analyse and compare Finnish, German and Soviet posters educating citizens in improving their everyday habits, living environments and, in the end, their health. Our aim is to find out, what were the methods and means of the visual health education of the 20th century, and what kind of ideals were pictured in health promotion posters. We ask, how the posters were part of the visual construction of the modern citizen.
Flyer: Photographic Practices and the Making of Religion (Illustration based on a photogenic drawing on salted paper by Johann Carl Enslen, 1841)
Within the growing field of photography studies, particular interest has been devoted to the social and material qualities of photographs through which practices and meanings are produced. However, less attention has been given to the ways in which these qualities of photographs interact with and affect the sphere of religion. The aim of the conference is to investigate this relationship by showing that not only the visual information in photographs, but also their multi-material, sensorial, and haptic features play an important role in the shaping and transformation of religious communities, practices, and cults.
Concept and organisation: Moritz Lampe
Conference venue: Universität Leipzig, Institut für Kunstgeschichte, Dittrichring 18-20, D-04109 Leipzig
Friday, November 25
16.00 Moritz Lampe (Institut für Kunstgeschichte, Universität Leipzig)
Welcome and Introduction
Processes of migration and flight after 2015 and their depiction, perception and distribution through photography form the initial point of the workshop and subsequent publication Nomadic Camera. The research project seeks to investigate the technical, medial and aesthetic relationship of photography and contemporary migration, historical exile and flight as the pivotal discursive setting in which specific forms of mobility extending from the mid-nineteenth century to today have been negotiated.
The concept adapts the term ‘nomadic’ – a transitory form of existence – beyond static concepts of being and national boundaries (Demos 2017). ‘Nomadic’ refers to a form of mobility that establishes continuities and discontinuities with other terms, such as ‘travel’, ‘displacement’ and ‘exile’ (Kaplan 1996). At the same time, displacements are intrinsically related to experiences of connectivities and disconnectivities, including place-making and belonging, ruptures between life and work in the past and present, experiences of loss and challenges of beginnings.
Viewing photography as a formative part of this history of mobility and migration, we will examine the interconnection between the concepts of ‘nomadic’ and ‘camera’. From its introduction in the early-nineteenth century and throughout numerous technical developments and innovations, photography has been a mobile medium closely tied to equipment, social conditions and cultural framings. Setting out from this hypothesis, the workshop and publication “Nomadic Camera” will centre around the following questions: how are dislocations interconnected with the technical evolutions of the mobile medium of photography?
A photo-historical seminar for doctoral and post-doctoral scholars, organized and led by Tatjana Bartsch (Bibliotheca Hertziana), Elizabeth Otto (University at Buffalo), Johannes Röll (Bibliotheca Hertziana), and Steffen Siegel (Folkwang University of the Arts, Essen)
Supported by the Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach Stiftung, Essen
Deadline: October 20, 2022
Rome, Italy The Bibliotheca Hertziana – Max Planck Institute for Art History is a German research institute. It was founded by a donation of Henriette Hertz in 1912 as a Kaiser Wilhelm Institute. Foto: Sonse, Rom, 15. November 2018. Quelle: Wikimedia Commons, Lizenz: CC BY 2.0
Photo-historical research engages a vast array of materials.