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Margaret Tait 100
Photography and Memory Workshop with Annette Kuhn

Wed 25 September 2019

Around the world, people’s personal photographs - of familiar places, family members and special occasions - are treasured mementoes: they help us remember and tell stories about our own lives and those of the people and places closest to us. Such photographs can possess enormous power, moving us to nostalgia, joy, sadness, anger.

Taking participants’ own pictures as a starting point, the workshop will explore the significance of such photographs for those who make them or keep them. We shall practice techniques of image analysis, enhancing our awareness of how images make meanings and of how personal photographs figure in acts of remembering.

Using these insights, we shall then begin to explore the continuities and discontinuities between personal memory and collective and cultural memory, and perhaps also consider the potential of the workshop as a methodological strategy in qualitative cultural research.

The workshop follows on from Annette Kuhn’s keynote presentation at the symposium on women photographers on Tuesday 24 September and may take up some of the themes of the talk.

The workshop is free, but places are extremely limited (10 participants max). To apply please email a short statement (250 words) about why this workshop would be useful to your research and/or practice. Statements should be emailed to Sarah Neely (MT100 Director) at sarah@margarettait100.com by 10am on 16 September. Successful applicants will be notified by 18 September.

Preparation:
-In advance of the workshop, please read chapter 1 of the 2002 edition of Family Secrets: you will receive a PDF version of this. Please pay special attention to the passage beginning ‘As the veils of forgetfulness’ (p.5) and ending ‘responses it generates’ (p.7). Please bring this chapter to the workshop.
-Select a personal photograph of your own to bring to the workshop: don’t think too hard about this - choose one that exerts some mysterious fascination or generates feelings that you don’t quite understand. And please don’t be constrained by the above mentioned themes -choose the picture that is most powerful or intriguing, regardless of its apparent content.
-The picture you bring to the workshop may be in print form. If it is an old photo, please consider bringing along the original rather than a copy: your photo will be passed around the group, so you might want to put it inside a transparent cover. If you bring a digital photo, be aware that your device may be passed from hand to hand.
-When you make your booking you will be asked whether you will present your photo in digital format and/or in hard copy.

About the facilitator:
Annette Kuhn is Professor and Research Fellow in Film Studies at Queen Mary University of London and a Fellow of the British Academy. She was Director of Cinema Culture in 1930s Britain, and writes on cultural memory in relation to both photography and cinema. Publications in these areas include An Everyday Magic: Cinema and Cultural Memory (2002); Family Secrets: Acts of Memory and Imagination (2002); Locating Memory: Photographic Acts (2006, co-edited with Kirsten Emiko McAllister); and a special issue of Memory Studies on cinema-going experience and memory (2017, co-edited with Daniel Biltereyst and Philippe Meers).