This chapter is reprinted from the Polish Sociological Review (2014). It discusses Bauman’s particular interest in Ingmar Bergman’s film Winter Light, drawing out some themes that coincide with Bauman’s own expressed beliefs and values.
This serves as an introduction to the one that follows, ‘Bauman and Bergman’. It reflects on the relationship between Bauman and Keith Tester, who began his academic career as Bauman’s doctoral student and went on to be his foremost interpreter. He died in 2019, just two years after Bauman. The pair shared a love of cinema, and Tester was working on a cinema volume at the time of his death.
This chapter is a personal account of the author’s more than forty-year friendship with Bauman, and includes portraits Bauman took of her. It considers his interest in the visual arts, and the fact that though he wrote a great deal about literature and film we find little on painting and sculpture in his work. His commitment to the idea of uncertainty is discussed, and the importance to him of the figure of Don Quixote in this connection.
This chapter seeks to locate Bauman’s photography with reference to his intellectual biography. Two main options present themselves: either Bauman’s photography was an alternative to a local sociology that he found less than stimulating; or it was a representation of his writing shifting into the visual. Whatever the case, there seems to be a hiatus in his writing into the 1980s, which is when the enthusiasm for photography arrives. I suggest that the globalisation process which he analysed also offered global prospects to Bauman – he returned to writing, but with a new sense of purpose and addressee.
The chapter looks at some of Bauman’s photographs in relation to the theme of the family album. With portraits of Griselda, and of Tony’s parents, the authors explore how their mode of representation suggests particular meanings, in relation to issues of femininity and of exile.
This chapter, by Zygmunt Bauman’s biographer, looks in detail at Janina Bauman’s work in the film industry in Warsaw before the family was forced to leave Poland in 1968. Her sources include Polish-language essays, as well as stories told only in the Polish version of Janina’s book, Winter in the Morning. She also discusses in detail three films of the period.
Zygmunt Bauman, internationally known and revered as the sociologist of postmodernity and of ‘liquid’ society, was for about a decade a serious and dedicated photographer. This book presents his black-and-white photographs from the 1980s, together with a range of essays, by colleagues, friends and family, about his work with images. The importance of his wife, Janina Bauman, in his life and work is acknowledged, with essays on photographs he took of her and also on her work in the film industry in Poland.
Thoughts on the relationship between Zygmunt Bauman’s sociology and his photography
This chapter considers the relationship between Bauman’s sociology and his photography. Making original use of items in the archives of the Bauman Institute at the University of Leeds it looks closely at Bauman’s photographic practice – in the Leeds Camera Club, and in numerous photography competitions and exhibitions. It considers in detail the importance of a residency in Newfoundland in 1986, and its implications for his work and his photography.