647.4 Perspectives from the South: Documenting home to break and to build stereotypes

Saturday, August 4, 2012: 9:36 AM
Faculty of Economics, TBA
Oral Presentation
Fabiene GAMA , Sociology and Anthropology, UFRJ/EHESS, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Most theories dealing with the cultural and ideological functioning of photography understand the photographic eye as a process of social construction of reality by an individual. The photographer usually belongs to a socially superior class to the one portrayed, this ‘other’ that ends up being an object in this representation. Trying to reverse this logic of power relationship, two groups of photographers from different parts of the Global South (Brazil and Bangladesh) are questioning the representations ‘others’ make of them, bringing new perspectives to the traditional ones that put “we” and “them” on opposite sides. Representing "themselves" as a way to participate visually and politically in contemporary society, these two groups of militants’ photographers show us new ways to expose and to challenge how power operates, with stereotypes, in social relations. They also point an important contemporary space of resistance: culture, presented by its members, visually and virtually. Reflecting on the images they produce, we could dislocate the traditional bipolar fields of reflection to another one in which we are both 'others', building relationships, narratives and representations in a field of tension where multiple representations are presented and powerfully communicate to each other. In this set of representations, the everyday life appears as an alternative to the spectacle of extraordinary events, and culture to violence. As they present their perspectives, they teach us not only about power relationships, stereotypes and how to question them, but also about new ways of producing shared and visual sociological knowledge.