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Beauty and the Beast: photography, the body and sexual discourse in the Middle East and Central Eurasia 
Pedram Khosronejad (Powerhouse Museum)
Louise Siddons (Oklahoma State University)
SOAS Senate House - S314
Sunday 3 June, -, -
Time zone: Europe/London

Short Abstract:

This panel is open to a broad range of scholars and artists who are addressing photography and sexuality in the greater Middle East and Central Eurasia during the modern and contemporary periods.

Long Abstract:

The invention of photography, as Lalvani states (1996: 2), "is a crucial moment in the development of a modern structure of vision and is both constructive of and constituted by a modern ocular paradigm; its operations are dependent on the larger ocular and cultural formation within which it is deployed, its investment-effect constituted by a particular ensemble of discourses and practices, and specific forms of subject-object relations." Indeed, in legitimizing specific forms of subject-object relations, technologies of vison such as photography are embedded within particular discursive knowledge, power and the body (Foucault 1979). Therefore, in order to understand photography's relation with the body during the modern period, we must not only examine the discourses and practices within which photography has operated at different levels of the social formation to produce specific bodies, but the ocular epistemology within which these practices are constituted, shaped, and given meaning (Lalvani: ibid).

The topics may include (but are not limited to):

- The visual order of sexual photography;

- Aesthetics of intimacy;

- Western technology, local beauty and indigenous aesthetic;

- Vernacular photography as a challenge to Orientalism;

- Colonial photography and indigenous creativity;

- Influence of European migrants and refugees on vernacular pornography;

- From brothel to studio, from studio to brothel;

- Photography as an object of desire;

- Traditional vision and modern bodies;

- Censorship, sexuality and creativity;

- Islam, the body and nude photography;

- Museums and censorship;

- The position of museums and galleries in collaboration with artists;

- Western photographs and local albums.

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Sunday 3 June, 2018, -