A critical debate on the politics of re-used images to investigate how and why archival photographs acquire contemporary significance via anthropological, social and artistic practice.
Contributors to this panel will explore the interplay of political, poetic and temporal aspects of photographic archives. Each contributor is asked to focus their analysis on a single image or photographic object, and justify their selection by exploring the controversies that such images have caused in post-colonial, post-imperial or transnational encounters, and how 'the archive' (broadly speaking) has defined subsequent images, manifestations, artworks or ideas. The idea is to engage diverse yet linked issues pertaining to archival photographs: • Multiple ownership and shared heritage • Visual elicitation and reciprocity • Photographic temporality • Telling, re-telling and identity formations • Routes, pathways and visual journeys • Inter-medial changes and exchanges. What do the (post-)archival entities and experiences under consideration tell societies about the public and personal effects of photographs, or the relevance of photographic time to apprehensions of pasts or futures? It is anticipated that contributors will dwell productively on anthropological topics such as contested ownership, visual methodologies, artistic heritage, reciprocal ethics, visual memory, and digital repatriation. Do the new images or ideas transgress existing modes of representation, or do they sustain the representational and social tensions that may have informed previous archival practices and anthropological interpretations? The panel organisers invite contributors from art history, museum studies, archival science, photographic and artistic practice, critical heritage studies, visual anthropology or media studies.