Accepted paper:

Erasure and Disclosure: Historic photographs and local politics in Hungary


László Kürti (University of Miskolc)

Paper short abstract:

With their own vicissitudes and difficulties, historic photographs have their own contradictions that often simulate history. They do not simply capture an orderly community, they manage to hide as well as represent contrasting images of ambiguous emotions about identity, progress and insecurities.

Paper long abstract:

As an ideological invention historic photography has brought new reproductive possibilities, new consciousness producing new modes of transmission of historical knowledge. They offer important challenges for media and visual specialists developing a critical analysis of intertextuality and visual narratives. In this presentation, I discuss how visual studies of historic photography can be expanded and nuanced by considering how cultural logics and ideological contexts determine the practice of photographing that which seems out of the ordinary. I examine community photographs in Hungary, and argue that despite all the professionalism that went into making (and unmaking) cultic events, the historical 'others', and sites of purported past greatness or suffering memorable, historic photographs reveal not only awe to the inquiring eye but ambiguity, contradiction and disorderliness as well.

panel P09
Appropriating Photography: Global Technologies and Local Politics of Self-Representation