'Light Writing' - The Photographic Image Reloaded


Date: Mar 16-17, 2019
Time: 10:00 am - 06:00 pm
Venue: Museum Theatre, Government Museum, Egmore, Chennai

International Conference on Photography
'Light Writing' - The Photographic Image Reloaded

The word ‘photography’ was created from the Greek roots ‘ph?tos’, meaning ‘light’ and ‘graphé’ or ‘representation by means of lines’ together meaning ‘drawing or writing with light’. Where does photography stand today? Is the idea of photography dead in the digital age or does the photographic image survive in multiple avatars celebrating, archiving, disturbing and investigating every aspect of our lives? Does the photograph stand as a witness or does it spread fake news? Is the photograph evidence? Is the photograph a document or is it somehow a strange and surreal version of our world? Why are photographers getting arrested and killed? Why are we looking at historical archives and why are new photographic archives being created? Is the photographic archive a form of resistance, or activism? Is the selfie a form of citizenship? Is the digital world too fast for us and how do we slow it down? Is photography the way we can look inside our own bodies? Can photography change the world? Is photography dream or magic? Are we obsessed with photography?


Ashwini Asokan (India)
Diwas Raja KC (Nepal)
Emeka Okereke (Nigeria)
Kristoffer Gansing (Germany)
M K Raghavendra (India)
P Sainath (India)
Rashmi Sawhney (India)
Sabeena Gadihoke( India)
Satyajit Mayor (India)
Shela Sheikh (UK)
T Shanaathanan (Sri Lanka)
Y S Alone (India)
Zhuang Wubin (Singapore)

The conference is dedicated to the acclaimed Bangladesh photographer, activist and mentor Shahidul Alam and his continuing resistance.

The Anthropocene, land, and environment; photography and the body; celebrity culture; the digital age; social media and surveillance; human rights and citizenship; photography as a witness; photography as memory; the archive as resistance; activism and politics; artificial intelligence; non-human photography.


10.00 AM Pushpamala N / Introduction
Tribute to Shahidul Alam / screening of film ‘Struggle for Democracy’
Condolence for Bisi Silva

11.00 AM Tea Break

The ‘Majority World’ and its Discontents

11.15 AM T Shanaathanan / Artist and Archivist / Jaffna
Archive of the difficult past: violence, memory, resistance and photography in Sri Lanka

11.45 AM Y S Alone / Art Historian / JNU / Delhi
Unfolding the Image of the Invisible: Making sense of being ‘What?’

12.15 PM Zhuang Wubin / Writer, curator and artist / Singapore
Photographing the Vietnam War: A Comparative Reading of Two Photo books from Vietnam

1.00 PM Moderator / Sabeena Gadihoke / Q and A

1.30 PM Lunch Break

The New Frontiers

2.30 PM Ashwini Asokan / Founder and CEO, Mad Street Den / Chennai

Image and reality, in the age of Artificial Intelligence

3.00 PM Satyajit Mayor / Director, National Centre of Biological Sciences / Bengaluru
Imaging the Imagined

Moderator / Shela Sheikh / Q and A

4.00 PM Tea Break

4.15 PM Kristoffer Gansing / Artistic Director Transmediale Festival / Berlin
Writing with Numbers: Images, Computation and Subjectivity in the Digital Imaginary

4.45 PM Moderator / Shela Sheikh / Q and A


Politics of the Archive

10.00 AM P Sainath / Rural Affairs expert, PARI People’s Archive of Rural India / Mumbai
The Visual Retreat of the Rural

10.30 AM Diwas Raja KC / Researcher, writer and curator / Kathmandu
Archive as Agency: Possible Histories from the Margins

11.00 AM Moderator / Rashmi Sawhney / Q and A

11.30 AM Tea Break

The Family Photograph and the Selfie

11.45 AM Sabeena Gadihoke / Prof. of Digital Media Arts / Jamia Milia Islamia / Delhi

12.15 PM M K Raghavendra / Writer on culture and politics, film scholar / Bengaluru
Selfies and Citizenship: The Reflections of a User

12.45 PM Moderator / Rashmi Sawhney / Q and A

1.30 Pm Lunch Break

Re-imagining Representations

2.30 PM Shela Sheikh / Media, Communications and Media Studies / Goldsmith’s / London
The Aesthetics of the Earth; Or, Nature Represents Itself

3.00 PM Emeka Okereke / photographer / Nigeria
Seeing in The Eye: On Photography and The Gaze

3.30 PM Moderator / M K Raghavendra / Q and A
4.00 PM Tea Break

The Cinematic Image

4.15 PM Rashmi Sawhney / Film and Cultural Studies / Christ University / Bengaluru
Photography and Cinema
Moderator / M K Raghavendra / Q and A

The conference will be held at Egmore Museum Theater on both Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th March 2019. The timings on both days are 10 am to 6 pm with a lunch break.

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