Photography as a Method: What Can Geographers and Social Scientists Learn from Documentary Photographers?
Lead Researcher and Department
Bojan Fürst, MA Student, Department of Geography, Memorial University
Photography and social sciences have grown up together and the two very much followed a pattern of uneasy sibling relationships. As they both matured, they seemed to have drifted apart. In academia, photography has often enough been misused and it could be argued that it is now mistrusted - hence strict ethical guidelines that make visual ethnographic research all but impossible in Canada. At the same time, documentary photographers have been struggling with issues of representation, ethical questions arising from their practice as well as from rapid change in image recording technology. In this paper, I argue that the time has come for a family reunion. Strengths of scholarly research and deep theoretical thinking complement documentary photographers innovations and experiments in their documentary practice and potentially, taken together, could make for a powerful research tool in any geographer's toolkit.
Paper presented at the Canadian Geographers Association Conference, Waterlo, Ontario, 2012
Photography, Visual methodology, Geography, Documentary photography
Social science research and development (Professional, scientific and technical services — Scientific research and development services — Research and development in the social sciences and humanities)
Photography (Arts, Culture & Heritage)
Geography (Social Science Research)
Geography, Faculty of Arts (STJ)
Harris Centre (STJ)