We are delighted to announce that imageandpeace.com has established a partnership with Archivo Platform.
Founded in 2012 by Ana Catarina Pinho, “Archivo is an independent research platform dedicated to reflecting on photography and visual culture through research, editorial and curatorial activities. Archivo defines itself through a series of annual projects developed through an interdisciplinary research network that contributes to traverse different disciplines and foster theoretical, practical and critical interventions, creating links between scholarship, artistic and cultural practices.”
Archivo perceives history as a resource for alternative narratives. This perception is important from our perspective as it enables the visual deconstruction of narratives of war and violence and the construction of alternative narratives which, without ignoring past violence, focus on peace and peaceful adjustment.
Rather than primarily targeting the past, the question of the archive is, in Jacques Derrida’s words, “a question of the future, the question of the future itself, the question of a response, of a promise and of a responsibility for tomorrow” (1995: 27). Responsibility for tomorrow can be based, for example, on constructive engagement with the violence documented in archives but also with the violence that archives, as power structures reflecting notions of inclusion vs. exclusion, regularly exert. But archives can also be repositories of peace images.
As John Roberts notes, archives are places for the permanent reconstruction of events: “through a continuous process of symbolic construction and reconstruction,” the event – seemingly stored unalterably in the archive as if frozen in time – is always in the process of becoming. Archives are “structures of meaning in process” inviting “the reclamation of photography from the archive.” Such reclamation “promises a practice of counterproduction, of counterarchiving, of interruption and reordering of the event” (2014: 114–155).
Thus, as we have noted elsewhere, “the archive is contingent, resistant to change but nevertheless changeable across space and over time” (Möller 2019: 121). Changes – including changes from violence, through its representation in the archive, to (some kind of) peace – can be explored through interdisciplinary scholarly and artistic practices such as those triggered by Archivo and documented on their website. An open access journal – Archivo papers – will be launched shortly.
Frank is on Archivo’s Advisory Board.
Derrida, Jacques, “Archive Fever: A Freudian Impression,” Diacritics 25:2 (1995), pp. 9–63
Möller, Frank, Peace Photography (Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan, 2019)
Roberts, John, Photography and Its Violations (New York: Columbia University Press, 2014)