From the globalisation of the movement (1968) to the movement against globalisation (2001)

Throughout its brief history, photography has had a close relationship to social movements. From the Commune of Paris in 1871, the first political uprising to be captured by camera, to the 1990s anti-globalisation movement, the photographic medium has played a crucial role in political struggles. The book reflects critically on the theory of photography and the social movements themselves. It draws on a range of humanities disciplines, including photography theory and history, social movement theory, political theory, cultural history, visual culture, media studies and the history and theory of art. The book takes as a starting point 1968 - a year that witnessed an explosion of social movements worldwide and has been interpreted as a turning point for political practice and theory. The finishing point is 2001 - a signpost for international politics due to September 11 and a significant year for the movement because of the large-scale anti-capitalist protests in Genoa. Within these chronological limits, the book focuses on a selection of distinctive instances in which the photographic medium intersects with the political struggle. The three case studies are not the only pertinent examples, by any means, but they are important ones, not only historically and politically, but also iconographically. They are the student and worker uprising in France in May 1968 and two moments of the contemporary anti-capitalist movement, the indigenous Zapatista movement in Mexico and the anti-capitalist protests in Genoa in 2001.

5 Zapatistas, photography and the internet or winning the game of visibility T h e EZLN movement has placed great importance on visual imagery for their struggle, with direct references to easily recognisable portraits of Zapata and Che Guevara in an attempt to re-appropriate them from mainstream discourse. Photographs can also be weapons, to paraphrase Marcos, in the struggle for social justice and equality, as illustrated by Marcos’s self-conscious construction of an image for the media spectacle, discussed in part I. Marcos seems to be fully aware of this

in Photography and social movements
Abstract only

Introduction T h r o u g h o u t its brief history, photography has had a close relationship to social movements. From the Commune of Paris in 1871, the first political uprising to be captured by camera, to the 1990s anti-globalisation movement, the photographic medium has played a crucial role in political struggles.1 The camera’s presence at very important moments of political resistance resulted in some of the best-known photographs in the history of twentieth-century photography. Some of these photographs transcended the historical and geographical

in Photography and social movements
Abstract only

European and World Social Fora at the turn of the millennium. Photography’s centrality in these movements’ formation, sustainability, reception and outcome has been extraordinary. Looking at photography’s circulation within different contexts, following its usage by different individuals and groups for different purposes becomes crucial within the context of the struggles against capitalism. It is the central argument of this book that these struggles transcended the economic and political level and were extended to a representational level. The book followed the

in Photography and social movements
Abstract only
Antonio Turok’s photographs of the Zapatistas

people to the centre of this collection, Turok breaks with a long tradition of visual marginalisation of these communities, which had been concomitant with their political repression. This chapter examines the way the book informs us about the everyday life of the ethnic communities in Mexico and, most importantly, considers the ways in which the book enhances our understanding of the Zapatista struggle. This chapter compares the photobook with stereotypical photographic representations of Mexican twentieth-century photography and seeks to evaluate the contribution of

in Photography and social movements

of photographs of May ’68 by photojournalist Bruno Barbey at the Hayward Gallery in London in 2008, in order to examine the role that photography has played in shaping the memory and the forgetting of May ’68, forty years on. The Hayward exhibition ‘May ’68: Street Posters from the Paris Rebellion’ lasted for the whole month May 2008 and was the first ever such exhibition to be staged in the United Kingdom.5 ‘ 115 Photography and social movements It juxtaposed posters that were produced collectively in the occupied Atelier Populaire with Barbey’s photographs

in Photography and social movements
Global days of action and photographs of resistance

parties happened around the world from Bogotá, Columbia to Melbourne, Australia and from Stockholm, Sweden to Tel Aviv, Israel. On 18 June 1999, the Carnival Against Capital (J18) took place in the city of London and simultaneously in over seventy-five cities around the globe, an immediate precursor of the global actions in Seattle in 1999 and in Genoa in 2001. This chapter examines the photographic documents of the J18 party available on the website of Reclaim the Streets, offering an analysis of the recurrent themes and examining photography’s role in the production

in Photography and social movements
Mediumistic performances for camera

4 Ectoplasm and photography: mediumistic performances for camera Neil Matheson Why this dark cabinet? The medium declares it is necessary to the production of the phenomena ‘that relate to the condensation of fluids’. (Camille Flammarion, Mysterious Psychic Forces, 1907) A major preoccupation of the astronomer and writer Camille Flammarion in his late work of the 1920s was the idea of the independent existence of the soul, the special powers with which such an entity might be endowed, and its capacity to survive the destruction of the body. This idea of the

in The machine and the ghost
The Dutch colonial world during Queen Wilhelmina’s reign, 1898–1948

In Pakubuwono X's photograph, the halo belongs not to a male, Muslim Javanese but to a foreign monarch, a Christian and a woman, all of which makes it an unusual image in the history of Javanese photography. This image eloquently captures how photography, a visual medium with global reach in the early twentieth century, drew upon Javanese visual practices in dialogue with European conventions. In this photograph we also encounter the major theme of this book: how the relations of a European, female king with her subjects were mediated through

in Photographic subjects

projects that privilege straightforward pose and strict composition of portraits, and questions the relationship of the project with earlier documentary and photojournalistic practices. 145 Photography and social movements Revisiting or breaking with past practices? The main body of the book consists of portraits of participants, activists who travelled to Genoa to protest against the policies of the eight richest countries of the world. Each photograph, on the right page, depicts usually one participant per picture. The subjects centrally placed in the photographs

in Photography and social movements