SUBJEKTIVE VIDNER - FOTOGRAFIER SOM DOKUMENTATION AF HISTORIEN
Nøgleord:photography, history, documentation, analysis, evidence, art, source material, research methodology
SUBJECTIVE WITNESSES: PHOTOGRAPHS AS DOCUMENTATION OF HISTORY | Methodological approaches to photographic source material have been lacking in historical research for a long time. In order to use photographs as historical source material, we need to take into account the specific abilities and limitations of the medium. In traditional methodological historical literature, photographs are treated uncritically and often serve merely as illustrations. In a few exceptions, they are treated as works of art, with references to the analytical methods from reception based picture analysis from art history, with the interpreting subject as focal point. New research that deals with photographs needs to deal with the source material more critically and use the meta sources available to verify and document the material. Also, it needs to take into account the specific contexts of the photographs as well as the general history and development of photography – culturally and technically – to add extra layers of information to the photographic documents. It is of particular importance in our mass producing, digital photo culture, as otherwise, traditional historians stand methodologically crippled before a lot of source material.
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