Creating Kurdistan: Photography as Discursive Documents


A great Essay/paper by Liam Devlin on analysing the work of Susan Meiselas’s photography on Kurdistan in the early 90’s. (as seen in the link before this, titled: ‘Documentary photographer speaks on the tragic history of Kurdistan’. The essay goes on to examine the role Documentary photographs have and the ideology within them. (I wish I had found this essay when I was doing my dissetation). One key sentance that I felt describes this essay clearly is: “The notion of a visual and aesthetic aspect to political debate is of course a founding rationale for the role of documentary or concerned photographic practice, relying initially on the images supposed veracity. Susan Meiselas’ own career can be read as a series of exemplary examples of the transformations that documentary photography, have witnessed over the past thirty years. As we can trace how Meiselas’ projects have evolved and transformed from the role of ‘bearing witness’ photographically from within conflicts suchas Nicaragua in the late 1970’s (see figure 1) to the collection and construction of a living growing archive of imagery and personal testimony for the non-existent state of Kurdistan.”

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