Course: Latin American Photographies
Mondays 9 Sep–14 Oct, 18.30–20.00
This course, led by Ileana L. Selejan, offers a thematic overview of photographic practices from Latin America, as a counterpart to the exhibition Urban Impulses: Latin American Photography from 1959 to 2016. It will provide extensive context, highlighting key themes that traverse the history of the region while focusing in on an array of genres and contemporary approaches.
We will be looking at the work of established photographers, alongside lesser-known practitioners and overlooked figures. Such in-depth forays seek to problematise notions of Latin America as a homogenous cultural entity by introducing a multitude of national, regional and trans-national perspectives. One might ask, for instance, how Central America and the Caribbean (with the notable exception of Cuba) fit into this discussion, and why their histories of photography have been left outside of a still-developing “canon”? Ultimately, the question revolves around representation.
Photography has a particularly rich history in Latin America, yet the most recognised work is often political and social in character. While recognising the importance of these themes, the course seeks nonetheless to open up new avenues for inquiry, exploring less visible discourses and categories.
Week 1: Metropolitan Vernaculars and the Modernist Vision
Week 2: Social Documentary and Fotografía Comprometida (Engagé Photography)
Week 3: The Recursive Archive and the Return of the Image
Week 4: Body Politix: Feminist and Queer Identities
Week 5: Colonial Aftermaths: Indigenous, Black, and Mestizo Identities
Week 6: Colour
Ileana L. Selejan is a Research Associate in the Department of Anthropology at UCL, where she is a part of the European Research Council (ERC) funded project, "Citizens of Photography: The Camera and the Political Imagination," and an Associate Lecturer at Central Saint Martins, UAL. She was previously the Linda Wyatt Gruber ’66 Curatorial Fellow in Photography at The Davis Museum at Wellesley College where she curated the exhibition "Charlotte Brooks at LOOK: 1951-1971". She received her PhD in Art History from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. As an adjunct instructor, she taught in the Photography and Imaging Department at Tisch School of the Arts, and in the Art History Department at NYU, at the Parsons School of Design, and in the Fine Arts Department at West University, Timisoara, Romania.
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