Citizens of Photography explores how photography offers access to forms of citizenship beyond those available through ordinary politics. Through contemporary ethnographic investigations of photographic practice in Nicaragua, Nigeria, Greece, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Cambodia, the PhotoDemos Collective traces the resonances between political representation and photographic representation. The authors emphasize photography as lived practice and how photography’s performative, transformative, and transgressive possibilities facilitate the articulation of new identities. They analyze photography ranging from family albums and social media to state and public archives, showing how it points to new destinations in the context of social movements, the aftermath of atrocity and civil war, and the legacies of past injustices. By foregrounding photography’s open-ended and contingent nature and its ability to subvert and reconfigure conventional political identifications, this volume demonstrates that as much as photography looks to the past, it points to the future, acting in advance of social reality.
Acknowledgments vii Introduction. Photographing; or, the Future of the Image / Christopher Pinney 1 1. “The Truth Is in the Soil”—The Political Work of Photography in Northern Sri Lanka / Vidhya Buthpitiya 63 2. Visual Citizenship in Cambodia—From Apocalypse to Visual “Political Emancipation” / Sokphea Young 111 3. Photography, Citizenship, and Accusatory Memory in the Greek Crisis / Konstantinos Kalantzis 150 4. Insurgent Archive—The Photographic Making and Unmaking of the Nicaraguan Revolutionary State / Ileana L. Selejan 192 5. “We Are Moving with Technology”—Photographing Voice and Belonging in Nigeria / Naluwembe Binaisa 234 6. Citizenship, Contingency, and Futurity—Photographic Ethnographies from Nepal, India, and Bangladesh / Christopher Pinney 273 Bibliography 319 Contributors 337 Index 339
Christopher Pinney is Reader in Anthropology and Visual Culture at University College London. He is author of Camera Indica: The Social Life of Indian Photographs and coeditor of Pleasure and the Nation and Beyond Aesthetics.
Nicolas Peterson is Reader in Anthropology at the Australian National University. He is coeditor of Citizenship and Indigenous Australians: Changing Conceptions and Possibilities.
Konstantinos Kalantzis is Research Associate in PhotoDemos, Department of Anthropology, University College London. He is director of the ethnographic film Dowsing the Past: Materialities of Civil War Memories.
“Ambitious in its theoretical and ethnographic reach, this vital volume robustly explores the unruly political potentialities of photography while laying out multiple directions for a future anthropology of photography. Citizens of Photography is a landmark book.”
~Karen Strassler, author of, Demanding Images: Democracy, Mediation, and the Image-Event in Indonesia