This lecture intends to foster critical reading of images, decolonial processes of image making and critical perspectives on photographic representation of communities, bodies and stories. We will read academic perspectives on visuality, we will have international guest lecturers from the photo industry that are fighting the traditional gaze in photography and through a series of photo exercises we will critique our own practice as creators.
The origin of “visuality” is framed in the development of the colonization project of the colonial world carried out by European countries in the Americas and the Caribbean in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. Visuality was created as a weaponized technology that allowed colonists to exercise control and maintain the power of the colonized territories outside their national territory. Visuality was then proposed as the logistical and ideological capacity to imagine, produce and collect detailed information about a territory, its limits, its ecological characteristics, its environmental resources, its inhabitants, its culture, its level of production, etc. Visuality was created at the expense of enslaved Afro-descendant populations in the so-called New World, and they were the first to suffer the consequences of its delimitation and dehumanization.
This ideological reason for visuality is fundamental to understand the discipline of photography and the photographic practice as an exercise of power ; where the subject who takes the photo, the photographer, has historically possessed power over the subject (often objectified) in front of the camera. The photographer holds the power to look at them, to name them, to blaspheme them and to contain them in an image. It is also known that this power has been kept in a very particular circle of subjects: white cisgender European-American western men. Whom, through their lenses, have perpetuated a
one-sided, stereotypical, sometimes racist, sometimes sexist, sometimes dehumanizing view of their subjects.
In the context of the photography industry, the ideological paradigm of visuality remains in place and only in recent decades, with the inclusion of photographers, editors and gallery owners of color and/ or from the global south, the debate of the paradigm of visuality has been possible. However, the intrinsic practices of the photographic discipline require a decolonization process that urgently needs space in German academia.
What narratives have been built around BIPOC bodies? What is representation and how is it built in photography? What is decolonial representation? What are our Biases? What are the problems of a white dominated gaze on bipoc representation? How does it look like the photography genre developed through the gaze of bipoc photographers? What is the ethical question of portraying the other?
The course is conducted as a students’ learning and teaching project and is is open to all students from all faculties as part of the "Bauhaus.Modules".
Die Veranstaltung wird als studentisches Lehr-/Lernprojekt durchgeführt und steht Studierenden aller Fakultäten im Rahmen der "Bauhaus.Module" offen.
Studierende anderer Fakultäten können an der Veranstaltung im Rahmen des Bauhaus-Moduls teilnehmen und erscheinen dazu zur ersten Sitzung oder melden sich per Mail an den Dozent*innen.