1st Edition

Photography and Migration

Edited By Tanya Sheehan Copyright 2018
    258 Pages
    by Routledge

    258 Pages
    by Routledge

    Written in the context of unprecedented dislocation and a global refugee crisis, this edited volume thinks through photography’s long and complex relationship to human migration.

    While contemporary media images largely frame migration in terms of trauma, victimhood, and pity, so much more can be said of photography’s role in the movement of people around the world. Cameras can document, enable, or control human movement across geographical, cultural, and political divides. Their operators put faces on forced and voluntary migrations, making visible hardships and suffering as well as opportunity and optimism. Photographers include migrating subjects who take pictures for their own consumption, not for international recognition. And photographs themselves migrate with their makers, subjects, and viewers, as the very concept of photography takes on new functions and meanings.

    Photography and Migration places into conversation media images and other photographs that the contributors have witnessed, collected, or created through their diverse national, regional, and local contexts. Developed across thirteen chapters, this conversation encompasses images, histories, and testimonies offering analysis of new perspectives on photography and migration today.

    List of Maps

    List of Illustrations


    About the Contributors

    Chapter 1

    Photography and Migration: Keywords

    Tanya Sheehan


    Chapter 2

    Back to America: Photography and Japanese Americans from Incarceration to Resettlement

    Jasmine Alinder

    Chapter 3

    Residential School Photographs: The Visual Rhetoric of Indigenous Removal and Containment

    Carol Williams

    Chapter 4

    Animating Death: Stills That Migrate

    Anne Teresa Demo


    Chapter 5

    The Razor’s Edge: Image and Corpo-reality at Europe’s Borders

    Parvati Nair

    Chapter 6

    Fantasy Islands: Photography, Empathy, and Australia’s Detention Archipelago

    Jane Lydon

    Chapter 7

    The Indecisive Moment: Photoethnography on the Undocumented Migration Trail

    Jason De León


    Chapter 8

    Refugee Photography and the Subject of Human Interest

    Thy Phu

    Chapter 9

    Feelings, Facebook, Forced Migration: Photographs of Refugees and Affective Spaces Online

    Marta Zarzycka

    Chapter 10

    The Visual Politics of Climate Refugees

    T. J. Demos


    Chapter 11

    Photography and Diaspora: A Roundtable

    Anthony W. Lee with Pok Chi Lau, Surendra Lawoti, and Wei Leng Tay

    Chapter 12

    Intimacy Out of Doors: Landscape, Labor, and Chinese Diasporic Practices of Looking

    Nadine Attewell

    Chapter 13

    Kan Azuma and the Japanese Canadian Diaspora: Perception, Identity, and Their Erosion

    Martha Langford


    Tanya Sheehan is the William R. Kenan, Jr. Associate Professor of Art at Colby College, USA, where she founded the Photography and Migration Project in 2014. She has authored two books, Doctored: The Medicine of Photography in Nineteenth-Century America (2011) and Study in Black and White: Photography, Race, Humor (2018). She has also edited several collections of essays, including Photography, History, Difference (2014), Photography and Its Origins (2015, with Andres Zervigon), and Grove Art Guide to Photography (2017). Since 2015, Tanya Sheehan has served as editor of the Smithsonian Institution’s Archives of American Art Journal.

    "This volume goes beyond the conventional frame of photography and migration to provide a unique perspective on the intersection of these issues. With important global and historical dimensions, the contributors understand photography as a performative practice rather than just a representational medium. The result is a collection that will become an indispensable reference on a permanent crisis."

    David Campbell, World Press Photo Foundation

    "This is not the moment for one author to tell us narratives of the worldwide phenomenon of migration. This is the moment of collaborative research and multiple approaches to understand the complexities of migration and its practices. This book is highly recommended for everyone interested in the most challenging human catastrophe of our time."

    Bettina Gockel, University of Zurich