The Violence, Conflict and Gender research cluster in the Centre for Advanced Studies in Languages and Cultures (CASiLaC), together with Women’s Studies, invite you to the first event of 2022 in our Global Feminisms series. This Thursday, 17 February, we will welcome Dr Saumava Mitra of DCU to UCC. He will present ‘’C’est un combat’. Women photographers’ fight against professional invisibility in conflict and crises-affected contexts’. Details on author and abstract for the talk below the poster.
This is a hybrid event. We will meet in person in the CACSSS seminar room ORB G.27 If you wish to attend online, please contact us for the link. All welcome.
Abstract: ‘C’est un combat’: Women photographers’ fight against professional invisibility in conflict and crises-affected contexts
Production of news and documentary photographs of crises and conflicts have long been understood as the privileged domain of Western male photographers who parachute in to create iconic images of ravaged landscapes and damaged victims.
This masculine doxa underpinning conflict and crises photography practice has made invisible the embodied experiences of women photographers and their photographic representations of wars and disasters. Among them, none have been made more invisible by the doxa underpinning the profession of conflict and crises photography than those women photographers who hail from places in the Global South most often depicted as crises and conflict zones.
In recent years, voices within the international news and documentary photography industry have started to challenge the long-accepted norms of who get to visually narrate stories of marginalised places and peoples. Debates and dialogues around inclusivity are now more common than ever within the industry. But how far have these translated into positive changes for traditionally marginalised groups of visual journalists and documentary photographers? What role are marginalised women photographers from the Global South themselves playing in shifting the doxa of their profession?
In this talk, I will present the findings from the first focused academic study of professional experiences of female-identifying photographers who hail from conflict and crises zones in the Global South which I recently conducted along with two collaborators. I will describe the inequities we found these photographers felt they face in their professional lives, but I will focus more on these photographers’ strategies of resilience and acts of resistance, both individual and collective, which are undertaken both offline and online.
Presenter: Dr Saumava Mitra is an Assistant Professor at DCU School of Communications. He is currently serving as the vice chair of the Visual Communication division of International Communication Association. His research focuses on visual imagery and visual journalism production practices in contexts of conflicts and crises. Prior to joining DCU, Mitra worked in journalism and communications in South Asia, Europe, East Africa, and North and Central Americas.