Free

RAI Research Seminar: Shireen Walton

Event Information

Share this event

Date and Time

Location

Location

Royal Anthropological Institute

50 Fitzroy St

London

W1T 5BT

United Kingdom

View Map

Event description

Description

RAI RESEARCH SEMINAR

SEMINAR SERIES AT THE ROYAL ANTHROPOLOGICAL INSTITUTE

Popular Digital Photography and Anthropology: Cases from Iran

Dr Shireen Walton, Teaching Fellow in Material and Visual Culture, Department of Anthropology, University College London

Thursday 5 October at 5.30 pm

‘Popular photography’ as a topic of anthropological enquiry is undergoing a significant transformation in the digital age. A definitive feature of this transformation has been photography’s conversion with and integration into social media. Among the new affordances of photography is the scale of its networked sociality, with greatly increased modes and speeds of collectivity and sharing, communication, and flow. Digital photographs seen and circulated online lend themselves in several interesting ways to anthropological research; as entry points to understanding forms of cultural community building, in the study of identity and heritage politics, and by revealing how ‘global’ technologies are being linked, in a variety of ethnographic contexts the world over, to ‘local’ politics of visual self-representation. In particular, marginalised communities including indigenous, minority, or migrant groups, mobilise digital media and photographic practices as a part of wider claims to subjectivity, political visibility and collectivity. In other instances, the popular social media photography album presents a salient site of enquiry - as a ‘living digital archive’, it provides occasions for (re-)viewing digitised material (photographs, stories, objects, artefacts…), for cross-generational storytelling, and for (re-)connecting with others, on– and offline. In order to examine some of the transformations and continuities of popular photography in the digital age, I present a series of case studies from across the ‘Iranian Internet’ (Akhavan 2013). Overall, and by drawing on ethnographic research conducted in Iran, the UK, and online, I aim to illustrate the relevance of popular digital photography as a nascent field of anthropological research, while highlighting its rich theoretical and methodological contributions to the discipline more broadly.


Royal Anthropological Institute, 50 Fitzroy Street, London W1T 5BT. The RAI office is just around the corner from Warren Street, NORTH of Fitzroy Square. It is next door to French's Theatre Bookshop.
Share with friends

Date and Time

Location

Royal Anthropological Institute

50 Fitzroy St

London

W1T 5BT

United Kingdom

View Map

Save This Event

Event Saved