This year MA Photography ran a new module exploring photography’s histories and futures to ask:
Is it possible to remove the ‘othering’ gaze from the lens of the well-heeled photographer in the Global North who records the life of others? What are the continuing implications of this for the professional photographer today, given that the idea that marginalised communities should document their own struggles without the interference of “outside” agents is also fraught with difficulty, not least of which is the impossibility of defining what “outside” actually means in many contexts. (Roesler)
In exploring such questions the module considered debates in post-colonial theory and explored photographic imagery of the Global south and that of marginalised communities to evaluate the way they have been both dismantled and reconfigured in the twenty first century. It also explored what a photography for liberation and a civil imagination (Azoulay) might mean.
Students used the theoretical insights they gained to produce photographic work that reflected on the representation of black women in photography, photographic ethics and transgender as well as the image of labour in coal mining in China.
Dr Anandi Ramamurthy
New Book: Black Star: Britain’s Asian Youth Movements, Pluto Press (2013)