This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

The Relationship Of Photographs, History, And Memory

5350 words - 21 pages

The Relationship of Photographs, History, and Memory


Abstract: This essay reflects on the relationship of photographs, history, and memory based on a found and mutilated photo album. Photographs provide opportunities for disrupting and restructuring history with their attraction to memory; they privilege the subjective, creative power of the personal explanation and provide an emotional and even ideological grounding for memory. Photographs as manifestations of memory assist in the process of understanding the present.

As this century fades into the past it is worth remembering that its course--in contrast to earlier times--has been chronicled by a visual narrative that relies on the attraction of photographs as means of storing and disseminating information. Photographs emerge as documents of a lived experience, and their presence in the cultural milieu of technologically enhanced contemporary communication practices remains virtually unchallenged at the threshold to the twenty-first century.

Photographs are the story-telling companions of time, they direct the gaze of the spectator to ponder the past. Reflecting on our own lives we often refer to photographs whose presence conditions our recollection of people and events and keeps them alive. Recently I came across a small family album--a generation after the end of the Second World War--that had been left by an aunt who had saved it through times of expulsion, flight, and resettlement in West Germany. It had been severely cut--pierced but not destroyed by the thrust of a bayonet in 1945--when the invading Soviet army overran refugees and ransacked their belongings. Its sudden appearance in my life is a reminder of the power of photographs, the seductive specificity of the dated image, and the collective possibility of an extended visual narrative in considerations of memory. The violent markings of the photo album and its images, however, produce an equally powerful message that jars the memory as it disrupts and distorts the photographic chronicle of her life and that of her family and friends. The result is a complex visual experience that addresses the use of images in producing knowledge and making history.

Photographs are re-collections of the past. This essay is about photography, memory, and history and addresses the relationship between photographic images and the need to remember; it is based on the notion that seeing is a prelude to historical knowledge and that understanding the past relies on the ability to imagine. At the same time, the role of thought and imagination in the production of society--as reflected in the earlier work of Louis Althusser (1970), Maurice Godelier (1984) and perhaps more significantly, Cornelis Castoriadis (1975), suggests yet another role for photography in the construction of a social and cultural reality. Photographs in capitalist societies contribute to the production of information and participate in the surveillance of the...

Find Another Essay On The Relationship of Photographs, History, and Memory

Relationship Between Ecstasy and Memory in the Human Body

1263 words - 5 pages Relationship Between Ecstasy and Memory in the Human Body Rationale and Variables: The Experiment that was conducted in class determined the affects of 'ecstasy' or MDMA on the participants' memory. In addition to testing for their ability to recall information it also looked at the number of false memory that were related to the actual word "slow" in the class study. In the experiment Dr. Earleywine used a list of words that were to be

History and Memory Essay

4411 words - 18 pages the terms ‘history’, ‘objective’ and ‘memory’. The Macquarie Dictionary defines the term ‘memory’ as:“ the mental capacity or faculty of retaining and reviving impressions, or of recalling or recognising previous experiences. A mental impression retained; a recollection.” For the purpose of this essay assume history to be; the knowledge of what happened, the record or expression of what occurred.” The term “objective” refers to being free from

History and memory

910 words - 4 pages 2013:'All representations are acts of manipulation.' - Composers' choicesTo what extent does your study of history and memory support this statement? In your response, make detailed reference to your prescribed text and ONE other related text of your own choosing.2012:Analyse how the representation of past events and recollections leads us to a greater awareness of the complexity of human attitudes and behaviour. - personal memory and collective

The Role of History and Memory in The Fiftieth Gate, Schindler's List, and The Send Off

1114 words - 4 pages The strong relationship created between history and memory is one of a vexing nature due to deliberate selection and emphasis. It does however result in a confluence of different representations, that is, personal stories (memory) and public stories (history). Mark Baker’s biography and autobiography ‘The Fiftieth Gate: A Journey Through Memory’, explores his parents’ memories which are both verified and contradicted by Baker’s historical

“Heritage, Memory and Reconciliation: Central Concepts and Methods in the Study and Dissemination of Church History“

623 words - 3 pages “Heritage, Memory and Reconciliation: Central Concepts and Methods in the Study and Dissemination of Church History“ The paper’s point of departure is the separation between the Church of Sweden and the Swedish state. Nordback will discuss church history’s role within the Swedish higher education system. She will explain how and why the discipline’s conditions are changing and give some examples of theoretical and methodological trends that can

Representations of History and Memory in Mark Baker's 'The Fiftieth Gate' and David Olere's Painting 'The Massacre Of The Innocents'

1364 words - 6 pages memory rely on one another and they are incomplete when alone. Conclusively, this allows us to justify why Baker struggled to understand the hardship of remembering due to the way that Genia and Yossl's history was represented. The representation of Yossl's history in TFG allows us to Justify his response to his history and memory. History and memory have a complex relationship, they either contradict one another or work together as without memory

The Relationship Between Archaelogy and History

575 words - 3 pages The relationship between archaeology and history is continually experiencing modifications, by reason of their historical development and altering research objectives. These particular scientific and academic studies are outlined with a high degree of overlap and a mutual dependence upon another (Tabaczynski 1993:1). Archaeology as a rule is created through the continual process of the deposition of artefacts created, transformed and discarded

History and memory: "The Fifieth Gate" by Mark Baker

1405 words - 6 pages Mark Baker, in 'The Fiftieth Gate' exposes the true values of both history and memory in determining truth and meaning. Baker, in 'The Fiftieth Gate', disputes the classical view that history is of more importance than memory, instead he argues that history and memory are of equal importance. Baker explores the traditional views of history and memory that are: History is the branch of knowledge that records and researches past events, while

Ansel Adams life and two analysis of his photographs

852 words - 3 pages Ansel Adams was born February 20, 1902, in San Francisco, California. Ansel took an interest in music at an early age. He taught himself how to play the piano and enjoyed the surroundings of nature. In 1916, he and his parents went on a trip to Yosemite National Park where he received his first camera, the Kodak Box Brownie. His first photographs recorded their vacation. Ansel fell in love with Yosemite National Park and would return every

What did Jacob A. Riis' photographs said about the East Side Slums and the life of immigrants?

808 words - 3 pages number of reasons, but most came seeking political freedom and economic opportunity.# Most Americans looked down on unwanted immigrants and considered any hardships they suffered due to their own personal shortcomings. However, journalist Jacob A. Riis showed the harsh working and living conditions of New York City slums through his powerful and thought-provoking photographs as the cause of Urban poverty.When immigrants first began migrating to

The Colonization of Mi'kmaw Memory and History 1749-1928 The King V. Gabriel Sylliboy: A Critical Review

1436 words - 6 pages The Colonization of Mi’kmaw Memory and History explores the ways in which historical events and periods are remembered across generations of Aboriginal peoples, what has impacted these memories, and in what way these memories may impact the way in which history is remembered by the next generation. Wicken argues that our memory of history is shaped concurrently experiences of past and present generations and that as our memory of history changes

Similar Essays

The Relationship Between Memory And Questioning

885 words - 4 pages The Relationship Between Memory and QuestioningOver the years, researchers have investigated how the misinterpretation of a question can affect an individual's memory. A number of studies were conducted, which focused on the impact question wording, design, suggestibility, and prior experiences have had on a person's ability to recall information. This topic is important to scientific scholars because the results could determine how they phrase

Analysis Of Photographs: The Controversy

3078 words - 12 pages , others argue against that by stating that there are some points in certain photographs that elude analysis (Rose, 2001: 82). I agree with the latter and believe that there are some things in a photograph that escape the objective, analytical scrutiny and yet, leave an impact on its viewer.John Tagg and Roland Barthes, respectively, represent the two unique schools of thought pertaining to the analysis of photographs using semiology. John Tagg is an

Summary Of "The Boston Photographs" Summary And Response Paper. This Essay Is About "The Boston Photographs" By Nora Ephron

554 words - 2 pages Summary of "The Boston Photographs"In "The Boston Photographs," writer Nora Ephron writes about three very controversial pictures taken of a rescue attempt that failed. The photographs were taken by Stanley Forman of the Boston Herald American. He was using a motor driven camera, which allowed him to take three frames per second. The first shot showed a fireman that was rescuing a woman and a child. The next picture showed the fire escape

Aspects Of Emotion And Memory Relationship Targeted To Experience Design

3114 words - 12 pages Ricardo A. Martins, André L. BattaiolaAspects of emotion and memory relationship targeted to experience designEmotion, cognition, human senses, memory, experiences, marketing, advertising, promotion, interactive presentations, learning environments, branding.The emotional component of the brain plays a very important role in cognitive and decision processes related to information that arrives at our external senses as vision, hearing