CONF Sep 21, 2021

Photographic Digital Heritage (online, 19-20 Oct 21)

online, Oct 19–20, 2021
Registration deadline: Oct 19, 2021

Gil Pasternak

Photographic Digital Heritage: Institutions, Communities and The Political

Free online conference organized by the international DigiCONFLICT Research Consortium in partnership with the National Trust (UK)

Photographic Digital Heritage: Institutions, Communities and The Political intends to explore how uses of digital technology, and digitisation in particular, have transformed the ways in which historical photographs of value to perceived inherited cultural legacies are collected, deployed and identified as such. It will specifically investigate what has led formal heritage and memory institutions to drive this process, how heritage communities might have navigated their aspirations around it, and how political interest groups have taken advantage of it to promote their causes.

Photography and heritage became well-entangled long before the rise of digital technology. In fact, their connection has been highly influential, if not essential, to the development of heritage practices that one may by now take for granted. While some scholars have already considered the impact exerted by digitisation practices on approaches to photographic image-objects, much of this work tends to evaluate how the creation of digital photographic surrogates has undermined conventional archival documentation and preservation practices. In this regard, research around this area has largely taken issue with questions concerning provenance, cataloguing, dematerialisation, and media-morphosis, as a means to increase awareness of the potential loss of historical data that might result from the conversion of analogue photo collections into digital databases.

Bringing together photography and heritage scholars, policymakers, and community organisers, Photographic Digital Heritage: Institutions, Communities and The Political is designed to expand the discussion on the entanglement of photography and digital heritage into the political environment—where human diversity often gives rise to antagonistic sentiments. It is therefore geared towards unravelling how "the political" has conditioned digitisation practices, while equally looking into the ways in which photographic digital heritage has facilitated innovative hegemonic and anti-hegemonic aspirations in national and inter-national social settings.

Speakers will consider interrelated topics, including, the influence that photographic digitisation practices have exerted on definitions of heritage assets; the effect of photographic digitisation on institutional practices and policies; uses of photographic digital heritage for community building and activism; the employment of photographic digital heritage by governing powers; and the effect of photographic digital heritage on social and inter-generational communications about history, memory and the past.

Livestreamed online, the conference will provide multiple opportunities for knowledge exchange among the participants while enabling engagement with comments and questions from the public of viewers.

Bookings will close 1 hour prior to the start of the event, and registrants will receive a link to join the online event 24hrs before the event, via their provided email address. For more information and registration, please visit the conference webpage:

Conference Programme (all time slots UTC+1)

19 OCTOBER 2021

09.15-09.45 INTRODUCTION
— Catherine Troiano (The National Trust)
— Gil Pasternak (DigiCONFLICT / De Montfort University)

— Jane Lydon (University of Western Australia) | "Indigenous Uses of Photographic Digital Heritage in Postcolonizing Australia".

11.00-13.00 BREAK

13.00-15.30 PANEL I: Institutions
— Christo Kefalas (The National Trust) | Title TBC.
— Françoise Poos (Esch2022 Director Cultural Programme) | "Fortress Walls and Legionnaires: Digital Cultural Heritage at the M3E, Luxembourg".
— Donna West Brett (University of Sydney) | "Operation Overlord: Civilian Photography and Artistic Mediation".

20 OCTOBER 2021

09.00-11.00 PANEL II: Communities
— Geoff Broadway (The Living Memory Project) | "The Living Memory Project: Personal Photography Collections and Life Stories".
— Anand Chhabra (The Apna Heritage Archive) | "Punjabi Migration to the Black Country: A Photographic Journey through History, Cultures and Digital Technology".
— Catherine Troiano (The National Trust) | Title TBC

11.00-13.00 BREAK

13.00-15.30 PANEL III: The Political
— Kylie Thomas (Netherlands Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies - NIOD) | "Digital Visual Activism: Photography and the Re-opening of the Unresolved Truth and Reconciliation Commission Cases in Post-Apartheid South Africa".
— Denis Skopin (St Petersburg State University) | "Sheltering the Ghosts? Digitized Photographs of Political Victims and World War II Veterans on Russian Online Databases".
— Christina Riggs (Durham University) | "Reborn-Digital Tutankhamun: Howard Carter and an Egyptian Archaeologist, Name Unknown".
— Michelle Hamers (De Montfort University) | "The UNRWA Film and Photo Archive".

For more information and registration, please visit the conference webpage:

CONF: Photographic Digital Heritage (online, 19-20 Oct 21). In:, Sep 21, 2021 (accessed Oct 28, 2021), <>.