This ongoing project explores the impact of photography on the concepts and practices of heritage. Over the past seven years I have undertaken wide-ranging archival and ethnographic research into this broad topic, and continue to explore the history and efficacy of photography for heritage through writing and my own photographic practice.
The empirical contexts for this work include the World Heritage Site of Angkor in Cambodia and the town of Famagusta, Cyprus. I have conducted fieldwork in both locations exploring different forms of photographic work, from fine art photography to tourist image making practices. Across both these sites and a wider engagement with the heritage sector I am also interested in how historic images are deployed and interpreted in different settings. This includes research on exhibition productions, photobooks, family albums, and vernacular image displays.
My theoretical approach to this subject focuses on the more-than-representational dimensions of photographic production and use. This means paying close attention to the embodied, performative, and affective energies that impact on how photographs are made, discussed, and circulated in different contexts. These lines of thinking are inspired by a number of scholars, including Judith Butler, Ariella Azoulay, and Elizabeth Edwards.
A monograph on this subject entitled Heritage, Photography, and the Affective Past has now been published by Routledge.