Authors, Ariella Azoulay
5. Unlearning Imperial Sovereignties

Cameras are a product of imperialism’s scopic regime. However, imperial rights are not fully inscribed in the device. The unifocality of the camera and what Aïm Deüelle Lüski calls its verticality partition the space where it is located into what or who is “in front of it” and what or who is “behind it.” more

Published: 24.10.2018
4. Unlearning Imperial Rights to Take (Photographs)

The millions, whose photographs are taken, are not referred to in any meaningful way in the histories and theories of photography. Beaumont Newhall’s The History of Photography is a paradigmatic example. His fourth chapter, for example, is titled “Portraits for the Million.” more

Published: 09.10.2018
3. Unlearning Expertise Knowledge and Unsettling Expertise Positions

Through this combined activity of destroying and manufacturing “new” worlds, people were deprived of an active life and their different activities reduced and mobilized to fit larger schemes of production and world engineering. Through these schemes, different groups of governed peoples were crafted and assigned access to certain occupations, mainly non-skilled labor that in turn enabled the creation of a distinct strata of professions with the vocational purpose of architecting “new” worlds and furnishing them with new technologies. more

Published: 28.09.2018
2. Unlearning Images of Destruction

To take this excursion to 1492 as the origin of photography—exploring this with and through photography—requires one to abandon the imperial linear temporality and the way it separates tenses: past, present, and future. One has to engage with the imperial world from a non-imperial perspective and be committed to the idea of revoking rather than ignoring or denying imperial rights manufactured and distributed as part of the destruction of diverse worlds. In order to clarify this trajectory, I will start with a few photos taken in different times and places, which I propose to explore alongside early accounts of imperial expeditions. more

Published: 17.09.2018
1. Unlearning the Origins of Photography

Imagine that the origins of photography go back to 1492.

What could this mean? First and foremost, that we should unlearn the origins of photography as framed by those who were crowned its inventors and other private and state entrepreneurs, as well as its association with a technology that can be reduced to discrete devices held by individual operators. In The Civil Contract of Photography, I proposed to displace photography’s origins from the realms of technology to the body politic of users and reconstruct from its practices a potential history of photography. more

Published: 06.09.2018