Visual Cultures in Southeast Europe: globalization, gender, power and resistance
Visual representation has been crucial in shaping the understanding about people, cultures, resistance, class, gender, ethnicity and more. In the digital era, also called the age of social media, and hypermediacy this has become even more evident as societies create and are confronted with images and multiplicities of representations ever more frequently. The overall visuality has economized the written text in order to be more efficient in reaching certain audiences. Visual cultures today have no place or space of origin; they are migrating globally and are understood and interpreted locally. Visual cultures, as practices and manifestations of life that are expressed through visual aspects and interpreted through individual and shared experiences, will be considered at this conference through special focus on globalization, power, gender and resistance. Therefore, “Visual cultures in SEE”, are unfolding in this tension between the local and the global.
Representation is an essential part of the process by which meaning is produced and exchanged between members of culture, through the use of language, of signs, and images which stand for, or represent things (Hall, 1995). Images are not neutral artefacts, simple documents captured by a lens (or an artist). Images are socially constructed within specific regimes of truth (Foucault, 1986) offering indications of the relationships of power and producing them in constant play. Visual representations in popular culture – an ever expanding concept that looks to popular television programming, newspapers and magazines, books as well as digital services, video games, social media, art, music and sports and other everyday practices and things – are a prolific agent in mediating gender, race and class relations, among other things.
Cross-media aspects of visual cultures make it a large site for contested secular and religious views of identity and power. The region of South-eastern Europe is represented, at home and abroad, through its peripheral position to Europe, a long-term state of transition and high levels of contestation. Visual cultures have taken a larger role in social science and humanities reflecting the everyday lives of every one of us. Visual practices were and continue to be central to resistance. If visual cultures continue to flourish in the same manner as they have in the last hundred years, can we imagine what could future look like?
Visual anthropology isn’t only ethnographic films and photography, it is as MacDougall said „any of the expressive systems of human society that communicate meanings partially or primarily by visual means (MacDougall 1997, 283). From the field of visual anthropology, this conference encourages collaboration with other disciplines such as sociology, history, urbanism and architecture, art history, media, film and photography in order to draw upon issues of gender, resistance and power in the context of SEE. Topics to consider but not to be limited to are:
– Visual representation in humanities and social science – methodological and epistemological aspects of exploration and interpretation
– Media pluralism, power and resistance
– Popular culture, gender relations and resistance
– Gender identity and representation
– Feminist and queer interventions
– Architecture and urban design – the post socialist shift of power and resistance to it
– Film, photography and other visual formats and platforms research in variety of disciplines
– Post-socialist visual cultures
– Visual culture and social movements
– Propaganda and resistance
– Social media and resistance
– Videogames and resistance
– Art and resistance
– Religion, visual culture and iconography
– Visual culture and the Anthropocene
– Visual ideologies and power
– The body and visual symbols over time