Conference: ‘Where Photography Belongs’ / Copenhagen Photo Festival

Conference arranged by Copenhagen Photo Festival and PhD Art historian Charlotte Præstegaard Schwartz in collaboration with The National Museum of Photography, the Royal Danish Library.

The production of communities and the experience of solidarity and belonging within historical and contemporary photography.

The conference aims to investigate various intersections of the photographic medium and human communities. It poses questions to photography as a meaning-maker in the creation of communities; to how communities are being represented and reshaped by artistic practices; how experiences of belonging and solidarity have been formed by photography historically and in our contemporary life. With examples of empirical analysis, research based art practices and theoretical insight the conference will point to where photography belongs today in an increasingly community-based society.

Since its beginning photography has been an instrument for social control and consumption, as it can be experienced in family and passport photographs with a considerable notion of issues about exclusions and inclusions. In the 21st century photography has gained momentum as a highly influential medium in our public and private life as it is circulating and in fact constituting both public political and social networks as seen in youth culture, uprisings, protests and fake news.

The conference makes a critical interrogation into the role of photography both as an aesthetic and political image and as a pervasive technology that affects our environments and possible futures; the way we are thinking and feeling; our relation to space and time, and also the way we gather, come together and create conflictual, imaginary, and temporary communities in political, social and private spaces.


10.00am-10.15am  Arrival and morning coffee

10.15am-10.30am Welcome by Sarah Giersing, Head of The National Museum of Photography, the Royal Danish Library and Charlotte Præstegaard Schwartz, PhD, art historian and researcher, University of Southern Denmark

Section I: Artistic, Aesthetical and philosophical reflexions

10.30am-11.00am keynote Daniel Rubinstein, Editor of the journal ‘Philosophy of Photograph’ and Course Leader of MA Photography at Central Saint Martins, London

11.00am-11.30am Christian Vium, Danish artist and Post.doc. School of Culture and Society, Department of Anthropology, Aarhus University

11.30am-11.40am Reflection and dialog with the speakers and moderator Mette Sandbye, Professor in Photography, Head of Department Art and Cultural Studies, Copenhagen University

11.40am-11.50am Pause

11.50am-12.20pm keynote Joanna Lowry, leader of the Photography MA and the Photography, Moving Image and Sound programme, University of Brighton

12.20pm-12.50pm keynote Esther Shalev-Gerz, artist based in Paris

12.50pm-1.10 pm Reflection and dialog with the speakers and moderator Mette Sandbye

1.10pm-1.50pm LUNCH

Section II: Artistic and curatorial reflexions

1.50pm-2.30pm Dialog in the exhibition Blind Spots. Image of the Danish West Indies colony, The National Museum of Photography with Mette Kia Krabbe Meyer, Senior Researcher, the Royal Danish Library and Danish artist Nanna Debois Buhl

2.30pm-3.00pm keynote Karen Irvine, Deputy Director and Chief Curator, Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago

3.00pm-3.30pm keynote Kim Knoppers, Curator, FOAM

3.30pm-4.00pm Reflection and dialog with the speakers and moderator Charlotte Præstegaard Schwartz

Time to sum up and to say thanks and goodbye

Place: Karen Blixen Salen, The National Museum of Photography, The Royal Library, Copenhagen

Price: 300 DKK incl. treats and admission to the exhibition ‘Blind Spots’. Sign up before the 2nd of June. Limited amount of tickets available.

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