Photomemory brings together scholars, archivists, curators and artists who explore commemorative, memorial and activist uses of personal, private images in the context of large-scale – often state-sponsored – violence, death and disappearance. Our focus is primarily, but not exclusively, on the Global South.
We are interested in the displacements and transitions these images so often undergo: from the family album to the memorial museum or a protest placard; from an innocent holiday snap to a harbinger of loss, injustice and defiance; from a passport photo to an enduring image of a victim or a perpetrator.
Photomemory aims to explore the various spaces (actual and virtual) populated by these images – archives, memorials and museums, places of public protest, phones and, increasingly, myriad regions of the internet – and their relationship to professional and mainstream representations of conflict, violence and death. In this, we aim to probe the boundaries between the private and the public; between intimacy and historical significance.