Biographical Processes through Narration and Images: Epistemic Considerations about Materiality

Thursday, 19 July 2018: 15:30
Oral Presentation
Maria POHN-LAUGGAS, University of Vienna, Austria
Processes of constructing biographies are carried out by oral narratives but also by private photographs. In this context, photographs are a special medium and differ from narrative principles; they are able to show something that can’t be told or that is not allowed to be told, and they prove that ‘something has been’ (Barthes). Empirically it is still an open question, in which way photographs constitute biographical processes and which differences and similarities to biographical processes in narrations can be identified.
Approaching these two main aspects I want to present biographical narrations and visual practices of descendants of a family whose (grand)parents were resistance fighters against the Nazi-regime, Based on this data I want to discuss following questions: In which way narrations and images can be used by subjects to construct their biographies? Which role does the materiality of narration and image play in this construction process? To what extent does the combination of narrations, images and visual practice offer epistemic chances to investigate complex social phenomena?