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CFP - Photography and power - 'Daguerreotype. Studies in the history and theory of photography'

Event Details

CFP - Photography and power - 'Daguerreotype. Studies in the history and theory of photography'

Time: December 18, 2018 to February 28, 2019
Location: Great Britain
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Event Type: call, for, papers, (paper, submissions)
Organized By: Weronika Kobylińska-Bunsch
Latest Activity: Dec 18, 2018

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Event Description

In one of his recent statements, Noam Chomsky presented a truly pessimistic diagnosis of our times: the very beginning of the 21st century led us towards the crisis of democracy. Nowadays, we need to confront the system in which property relations play a decisive role in our social network. Power, according to Chomsky, is inevitably associated with wealth. In consequence, the rules of democratic societies are no longer valid, since the capital helps to avoid them.

The need to look at the problem of power in a broader way, which would go beyond the context of political domination, has already become strongly present in contemporary humanities. This topic became the subject of interest of the authorities of our academic discourse. Chomsky, however, in the aforementioned statement, also raised a second issue, which is especially important in our attempts to analyse today’s iconosphere: the phenomenon of the so-called ‘fake news’. At this point, his thought meets the observations of Giorgio Agamben. The recognition of the condition of our times made by both scholars is accompanied by the observations regarding the crisis of images. Paradoxically, despite the gradual loss of faith in the image (progressing with the growing awareness of the ways of manipulating it and using it as a means of persuasion) the thesis of Hans Belting, claiming that “we live in images and understand the world in images” still remains in force. After all, armed conflicts and trade wars are followed by the stream of provocative photographs.

in the next issue of “Daguerreotype” we would like to invite you to present your answer to the question of how photographic strategies place themselves in the complicated network of power, history, and memory. Let us ask ourselves what role photography can play in the game between those mighty opponents: is it stronger than only a defenceless pawn?

We invite you to send texts regarding the following problems:


  • Blame(less?) photography: photographs as the means of ethical persuasion, ideological propaganda and/or a tool of violence
  • Photography as a form of intervention: are the attempts to construct an unconventional “counter-history” (to use the term coined by the Polish historian Ewa Domańska) always doomed to failure? Can photography serve as a medium of re-figuring an abusive narrative? Or maybe the image, replacing the body, only replaces the actual participation, creating the illusion of participation in the social debate?
  • The transgressive dimension of photography: in what kind of traps can photography fall into? When the strategies of visual rebellion, which were supposed to overcome the dominant power, eventually take its place?
  • Photography through the prism of feminist discourse: photographs as tools of the emancipation of body
  • Photography and archiving/museum strategies: when organizing can be understood as control over the past, in which only the narratives of winners are present?

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