So far, 2021 has not been an easy year for many of us. You, too, might have started the year with quite high hopes as the vaccination campaigns started in many countries, promising an end to ever extending lockdowns. Yet, such hopes came too early in various countries, leaving us instead to experience seemingly never-ending physical distancing and continuing working at kitchen tables or in bedrooms. Some of us might have experienced – or still suffer from – a phenomenon termed ‘brain fog’ or ‘languishing’. We at imageandpeace.com continued to be forced to spend even more time in front of our computers, developing some sort of ‘zoom fatigue’. All these things have also not passed us going unnoticed. Although we managed to publish regular blog posts, imageandpeace.com has become somewhat quieter in 2021 with emphasis put on more traditional academic work in terms of reading, thinking, writing (not necessarily in this order).
Given the restrictions imposed on all of us, we are even prouder to present a new artwork:
Reimpressions by the Portuguese artists and scholar Ana Catarina Pinho can be described as anticipation of peace and reconstruction, as a visual-discursive redesignation of archival images from war to peace. Reimpressions is, in the artist’s words, “the first chapter of a wider investigation on photographic practices, memory, representation and discourse. This ongoing visual essay explores vernacular photographies and its potential towards reframing pre-established categories, knowledge regimes and discursive reconstructions.” The photography and video installation can be accessed here.
Moreover, we happily announce our new partnership with Archivo Platform. “Archivo is an independent research platform dedicated to reflecting on photography and visual culture through research, editorial and curatorial activities.” Archivo “foster[s] theoretical, practical and critical interventions, creating links between scholarship, artistic and cultural practices.” Frank is on Archivo’s Advisory Board.
Furthermore, we are glad to be involved in the Visualising War Project at the University of St Andrews. War is often the negative reference point for peace narratives, and peace is the positive reference point for war narratives. As such, there is an intimate relationship between peace narratives and war narratives. Imageandpeace.com introduces peace photography in a podcast recorded in May and scheduled for publication in early autumn.
We will continue to share information on exciting books, events, and exhibitions in connection with the role of visual culture in peace and peace processes. Do not miss the fascinating virtual exhibition of the work of the Soviet photographer Valery Faminsky, newly discovered photographs taken in Berlin in April and May 1945. From our point of view, it is extremely interesting that the curators stress the peace dimension of Faminsky’s work, thus rhetorically moving it from war photography to peace photography. Valery Faminsky – Berlin May 1945 is on show until 15 July 2021. You can find the virtual exhibition here.
Finally, we particularly want to direct your attention towards a more experimental format that we call Ways of Showing Peace in which we briefly reflect on different forms of visualizing peace and related questions that we encounter in our daily work and lives. The first two episodes of the format can be found here and here. Comments on these reflections are welcome just as we appreciate any form of feedback regarding the website’s contents and design.
In Finland, the midsummer weekend traditionally kicks-off the holiday season. In this sense, we wish you and your friends and family a relaxing and pleasant summer. We hope that the second half of the year 2021 will allow all of us to meet each other again more frequently in person.
Best wishes and stay healthy!
 https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/19/well/mind/covid-mental-health-languishing.html, accessed June 14, 2021.