The Photo Morgue, The New York Times’ legendary photo archive, is so well known that ‘morgue’ has become a synonym for ‘press archive’. However, press photos in archives are far from dead. In this symposium we focus on the importance and use of press photo archives in researching the history of photojournalism.
Dutch Foreign Minister Joseph Luns takes leave of The Hague to become Secretary General of NATO, 28 April 1971,
Photo: Vincent Mentzel (NRC Handelsblad), Collection: Rijksmuseum Amsterdam (detail)
Our symposium will focus on the new field of research that has emerged over the past ten years thanks to the online publication of press photo archives. This development has turned the original negatives, colour slides and prints, which form the basis of every publication in the 20th century, into accessible research objects. The material aspects of press photographs provide a rich source on the production and dissemination of visual news in the 20th century.
Kolonie und Heimat in Wort und Bild, Verlag kolonialpolitischer Zeitschriften, 3. Jahrgang, Berlin 1909
It is the aim of this workshop to explore this visual and discursive paradox by looking at German and Dutch colonial photography and visual culture between 1850 and 1950 from a comparative perspective. Also longterm, 21st-century situations will be highlighted.
The last – and most formative – century of European global colonialism coincided with a media-technological revolution that would change public images of the world forever: the invention of photography. While photographic images shaped all aspects of modern public and private life, it was of particular significance for colonial culture and imagination: overseas colonies were no longer just distant territories beyond the horizon but could now be looked at and visualized from home. This sudden nearness of colonized territories resulted in a visual culture that illustrated the very paradox of Europe’s global ambitions: on the one hand, the legitimization of colonialism relied on images of alterity of the non-Western World, on the other, new territories had to be familiarized and thereby claimed as part of the empire and the homeland.
It is the aim of this workshop to explore this visual and discursive paradox by looking at German and Dutch colonial photography and visual culture between 1850 and 1950 from a comparative perspective.
Online Talks on Photojournalism
Thursdays 27 May, 3, 10, 17 and 24 June 2021 / 3-4 pm CEST / € 5
In today’s newspaper, the fish will be packed tomorrow. What was urgent yesterday is outdated today. However, events from the past have a long-lasting effect on the present. And this is particularly visible in photojournalism.
The First Symposium of the Photography Network, based in the US and an affiliated society of the College Art Association (CAA), will be held next October online and is jointly hosted by the Photography Network and Folkwang University of the Arts. The symposium is dedicated to „The Material and the Virtual in Photographic Histories“.
Over the last twenty years, the study of photography’s history has been characterized by, among other things, two major strands: a concentration on the photograph’s status as an object and a concern with the decidedly virtual quality of its images and practices. The 2019 conference „Material Immaterial: Photographs in the 21st Century“ considered these two directions in photographic conservation by asking if the physical photograph still matters today as a source of teaching, learning, and scholarship when the intangibles of code now direct the production and archiving of images. Now from a methodological direction, this symposium seeks to inquire further into the longer historical implications of the distance increasingly perceived between photography’s status as an object and its life as what could be called the intangible „photographic.“
German Maritime Museum Bremerhaven in cooperation with the Institute for Postcolonial Literary and Cultural Studies, the Institute for Anthropology and Cultural Studies and the Institute for Art History/ Film Studies/ Art Education at the University of Bremen
PD Dr. Gisela Parak, Prof. Dr. Kerstin Knopf, PD Dr. Cordula Weißköppel, Jun.-Prof. Dr. Elena Zanichelli
Preceding the German Maritime Museum’s exhibition, “Seeing the Other? The Colonial Gaze”, to be opened on 17.
© Kevin Bubriski / powerHouse Books
Cover: Church of St Simeon, Northwestern part of Aleppo, Syria, 2003: Kevin Bubriski, “Legacy in Stone: Syria before War”, powerHouse Books, New York 2019 ©
My two visits to St. Simeon, once in the rain and another day in sunshine, let me see the moods of the architecture and its rich spiritual resonance, an echo of the multitudes of pilgrims and practitioners who visited and inhabited this sacred space.
(Kevin Bubriski, Legacy in Stone, p. 161)
Last autumn, a friend sent me a link coupled with a question: Have you seen this? The link and her question referred to “Legacy in Stone: Syria before War” by Kevin Bubriski. I recall, shamefully, my cold reaction, back then, thinking that it was another lamentation of the cultural loss in the country. In brief, wise people say: “You should never judge a book by its cover.
Special Issue: TMG – Journal for Media History
Photojournalism and the Archive: From Analogue to Digital
An analogue press photo: Dutch Foreign Minister Joseph Luns takes leave of The Hague to become Secretary General of NATO, 28 April 1971, Photo: Vincent Mentzel (NRC Handelsblad), Collection: Rijksmuseum Amsterdam
In recent years, millions of pictures taken by photojournalist for newspapers and magazines between the late nineteenth and early twenty-first century have been digitized. While commercial parties, such as Getty Images, seek to monetize their picture libraries by charging licensing fees, national archives and other heritage institutions have made millions of pictures freely available to researchers and the general public. For example, with over 15 million pictures, the Dutch National Archive maintains one of the largest digital collections of (mostly) freely available press photographs. Similarly, the National Library of Congress provides free access to famous collections, such as the 39,744 digitized glass negatives, taken between 1900-1920, of Bain, one of America’s earliest news picture agencies and 175,000 black-and-white negatives of the Farm Security Administration Office, taken between 1935-1944. In France, the digital portal Gallica offers access to 24,845 digitized photographs of the famous photographer Nadar and 119,443 pictures of the Monde & Camera picture agency.
The special issue hopes to shed light on what happens to pictures of the news and the way(s) that we (can) see them when they are moved from the analogue to the digital realm. In doing so, it aims to contribute to the development of new theoretical and methodological frameworks to study photojournalism and, more generally, historical images in digital collections.
This workshop seeks to apply theoretical and methodological insights produced by visual historians to the writing of histories of medicine, health and healing in colonial and postcolonial Africa. We invite graduate students, early career and established scholars who are employing photographs to write histories related to medicine, health and healing in Africa to present their work in progress and participate in discussion around these themes.
Photographs as sources for writing histories of medicine, health and healing in colonial and postcolonial Africa
Screenshot der Website Global Health Africa
Over the last thirty years, photographs have become important sources of information for scholars seeking to reconstruct and examine the African past – whether related to material objects, social processes and practices, or attitudes and sensibilities. In employing visual evidence, historians and anthropologists recognise and reflect critically on photography as a complex and historically contingent practice, and images as polyvalent and often ambiguous artefacts.
This workshop seeks to apply theoretical and methodological insights produced by visual historians to the writing of histories of medicine, health and healing in colonial and postcolonial Africa. Over the course of the ca. 150 years since the introduction of photographic technology in Africa, it has been employed in a myriad of manners and settings related to health.
// english version below //
Das Symposium Cont·Act! wird im Rahmen des Stipendienprogramms „Museumskuratoren für Fotografie“ der Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach-Stiftung ausgerichtet. Es findet vom 16.-17. Oktober 2020 am Museum Folkwang in Essen statt und wird von Daria Bona, Sophie-Charlotte Opitz und Katharina Täschner, den drei Stipendiatinnen des aktuellen Turnus 2019-2021, organisiert und durchgeführt. Sollte die Entwicklung der Pandemie ein Treffen vor Ort nicht zulassen, wird ein Onlineformat angestrebt.
Fotografien resultieren aus Entscheidungen, sie sind durch Aktionen und Reaktionen bedingt und stellen dabei die Schnittstelle einer Vielzahl von Kontakten dar: Technisch prägen Momente des Kontakts die Produkte diverser analoger Verfahren, während der Kontakt als Topos lange Zeit bemüht wurde, um das vermeintliche Authentizitätsversprechen der Fotografie theoretisch zu fassen.