Whether pasted into an album, framed or shared on social media, the family photograph simultaneously offers a private and public insight into the identity and past of its subject. Long considered a model for understanding individual identity, the idea of the family has increasingly formed the basis for exploring collective pasts and cultural memory. Picturing the Family investigates how visual representations of the family reveal both personal and shared histories, evaluating the testimonial and social value of photography and film.Combining academic and creative, practice-based approaches, this collection of essays introduces a dialogue between scholars and artists working at the intersection between family, memory and visual media. Many of the authors are both researchers and practitioners, whose chapters engage with their own work and that of others, informed by critical frameworks. From the act of revisiting old, personal photographs to the sale of family albums through internet auction, the twelve chapters each present a different collection of photographs or artwork as case studies for understanding how these visual representations of the family perform memory and identity. Building on extensive research into family photographs and memory, the book considers the implications of new cultural forms for how the family is perceived and how we relate to the past. While focusing on the forms of visual representation, above all photographs, the authors also reflect on the contextualization and ‘remediation’ of photography in albums, films, museums and online.
Table of Contents
Introduction Silke Arnold- de Simine and Joanne Leal1. That Other Woman: the woman who accompanied the Cold War Tourist to Paris Martha Langford2. Memory, subjectivity and maternal histories in Un’Ora Sola Ti Vorrei (2005), Histoire d’un Secret (2003) and On the Border (2012) Lizzie Thynne3. Soviet heroes and Jewish victims: One family’s memories of World War II Oksana Sarkisova and Olga Shevchenko4. Visual meditations: An island in time – (re)interpreting family albums and oral histories Suze Adams5. Performing familial memory in Against Sally Waterman6. In and out of focus: Visualising loss through the family album Jacqueline Butler7. The (re)constructed self in the safe space of the family photograph: Chino Otsuka’s Imagine finding me (2005) Deborah Schultz8. A place for memory: Family photo collections, social media and the imaginative reconstruction of the working class neighbourhood Richard Lowell MacDonald9. Wanted – new custodians for family photographs: Vernacular photographs on eBay and the album as artwork Nicky Bird10. Dislocating memory: Family photographs in story-centred museums Silke Arnold-de SimineBibliographyIndex
Silke Arnold-de Simine is Senior Lecturer in Memory, Museum and Cultural Studies at Birkbeck, University of London, UK, and co-organiser of the Cultural Memory Research Series at the Institute of Modern Languages Research, UK. Joanne Leal is Head of the Department of Cultures and Languages and the Programme Director of the MA in Comparative Literature at Birkbeck, University of London, UK.