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Mass Photography: Collective Histories of Everyday Life

Mass Photography: Collective Histories of Everyday Life
Annebella Pollen

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With increasingly accessible camera technology, crowd sourced public media projects abound like never before. Such projects often seek to secure a snapshot of a single day in order to establish communities and create visual time capsules for the future. Mass Photography: Collective Histories of Everyday Life assesses the potential of these popular moment-in-time projects by examining their current day prevalence and their historical predecessors. Through archival research and interviews with organisers and participants, it examines, for the first time, the vast photographic collections resulting from such projects, analysing their structures and systems, their aims and objectives, and their claims and promises. The central focus is the 55,000 photographs submitted to One Day for Life in 1987, which aimed, in its own time, to be 'the biggest photographic event the world had ever seen'. Through its case studies, Mass Photography examines the particular cultural role that amateur photography offers, demonstrating how it has come to be embraced as a privileged authentic form, capable of communicating identity, capturing history and touching places that other images cannot reach.

In revealing previously uncharted histories of participatory media and user-generated content, this work challenges claims made of the networked digital photograph's seemingly new and unique capacity. As the first book to examine these ambitious and participatory photographic phenomena, Mass Photography makes a valuable contribution to photographic history and theory by taking a fresh look at amateur practice on an unprecedented scale.

Author Info

Annebella Pollen is Senior Lecturer in the History of Art and Design and Director of Historical and Critical Studies at the College of Arts and Humanities, University of Brighton. She is co-editor, with Charlotte Nicklas, of Dress History: New Directions on Method and Practice (2015).

Bibliographic Info

Imprint: I.B.Tauris
Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co. Ltd.
Series: International Library of Visual Culture

ISBN: 9781784530112
Publication Date: 18 Dec 2015
Number of Pages: 288
Height: 234
Width: 156
Illustrations: 30 bw integrated, 8pp colour plates

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