Photography Symposium

Friday 30 January, 2015 10:00 - 15:00 | Foyle Theatre

"Shifting genres in reporting conflict"

This photography symposium is hosted by the Centre for Media Research at Ulster University and Honeycomb - Creative Works in collaboration with North West Regional College and Void Contemporary Art Gallery.

This is a free event. Use #HCSkills for tweets!

A bus will leave the University of Ulster Coleraine Campus Sports Centre Car Park at 09:00 sharp, and will return to Coleraine for 16:00 that day.

A bus will leave the University of Ulster Belfast Campus York St. Entrance at 8:00 sharp, and will return to Belfast for 17:00 that day.

Symposium Programme

- 10:00 Registration.

Tea, coffee and scones will be served.

- 10:30 Opening Remarks from the Centre for Media Research and Honeycomb - Creative Works.

- 11:00 Prof. Sarah Edge. 'The emergence of photojournalism as a genre.'

Articulating Irish nationalism through photography in the 1840s and 1860s. In this presentation Sarah Edge will examine how news photographs first began to communicate ideas to the viewer in relation to news events connected to the rise of Irish nationalism. She will reveal how because the idea of a news photograph did not as yet exists other types of photographs were used such as portraiture or prison photographs. She will demonstrate how such imagery began to give meaning to this emerging political movement.

- 11:30 Dr. Gail Baylis. 'The battle for hearts and minds.'

Irish evictions were big news in the late nineteenth-century with photographs of evictions, evidencing, it has been claimed, an early instance of photojournalism in Ireland. These photographs were affective in changing public opinion and their currency extended Ireland to North America, Australia, Britain and Europe. This talk looks at the response of Irish Special Branch to the news-value of such imagery and its attempt to create a counter-image through collecting photographs and by the adoption of secret photography. The types of photographs that Special Branch amassed and its production of photographs taken in secret will be considered in terms of how successful it was in changing policy in Ireland and in winning over public opinion.

- 12:00 Stephen Davison. 'A good GV, a tight box and a good weepie.'

20 years of covering Northern Ireland as a photographer with Pacemaker Press International. In his illustrated talk, Davison will reflect upon the changes that have taken place in the industry over the past 20 years and how Pacemaker has coped with the challenges encountered along the way.

- 12:30 Patricia Holland. 'Photo-journalism in the age of the ubiquitous image'.

Patricia will look at the photographic centre spread regularly featured in the Guardian. She will consider the selection and presentation of images, riots and reportage next to landscape and cute animals, and discuss the purpose of the spread, the criteria for selection and how this accumulation of images relates to photojournalism and to online collections from Flickr through to the commercial picture agencies.

- 13:00 Summing Up from the Chair.

- 13:15 Lunch.

- 13:45 Keynote Address: Jess Hurd.

Jess will give an illustrated talk about her work over the past 20 years covering global conflict and resistance. She will discuss the democratisation of the media, the impoverishment of photojournalism and the increasingly repressive state surveillance that has landed her and her colleagues on the Domestic Extremist Database.

The symposium is chaired by Declan Sheehan.


Keynote address: Jess Hurd

Jess Hurd is a photojournalist and campaigning photographer, supplying images and photo-essays to international newspapers, magazines, trade union journals and NGO’s both commissioned and through her library Report Digital since the 90’s. She has been a London based freelance since 2001 working with a broad range of campaigning organisations on social issues often inadequately covered by the mainstream press.

In the international sphere, she has worked at the global political grassroots – the uprising in Egypt, the Bolivarian revolution in Venezuela, the Zapatistas in Mexico and urban social movements in Brazil, India, China and Africa.

Jess is a passionate advocate of press freedom which has come under increasing threat in the UK. She is one of the founders of ‘I’m a Photographer Not a Terrorist‘, a campaign against police repression.

She is a member of the National Union of Journalists and the International Federation of Journalists.

Professor Sarah Edge, University of Ulster

Sarah Edge is Professor of Photography and Cultural Theory at the Ulster University and a member of the Centre for Media Research. She teaches photography and gender studies. Her publications in the area of photojournalism include : ‘Reading the Fenian Photographs ; A Historically Located Study’ ( 2014) in David Machin ( ed) Visual Communication : Germany : De Gruyter : Photographic History and the Visual Appearance of An Irish Nationalist Discourse 1840-1870’, in Victorian Literature and Culture (2004) Vol. 23 issue 01 March pp, 17-39 : ‘Why did they kill Barney: Media, Northern Ireland and the Riddle of Loyalist Terror’, in European Journal of Communication, (1999) Vol. 14 (1) pp. 91-116 ‘

Dr. Gail Baylis, University of Ulster

Gail Baylis is a lecturer in photography, gender and visual culture in the School of Media, Film and Journalism, Ulster University and a member of the Centre for Media Research. Her most recent publications are: ’A few too many photographs? Indexing digital histories’, History of Photography, 38:1, 2014, pp. 3-20; ‘Gender in the frame: photography and the performance of the nation narrative in early twentieth-century Ireland’, Irish Studies Review, 22:2, 2014, pp.184-206 and ‘Remembering to forget: marginalised visual representations in the Irish nation narrative’, Kynmpa/Culture, forthcoming Dec 2014.

Stephen Davison, Pacemaker Press International

Stephen Davison joined Pacemaker Press International, Northern Ireland's longest established press photography agency, in 1994. He has covered every aspect of daily life in Northern Ireland, including the transition from the Province's Troubles to the more settled position of today. Throughout this period, Pacemaker has continued to work for a host of local and international clients. In 2005, Davison became joint proprietor of the agency. He is the author of eight books on the sport of road racing and currently combines photography with journalism for various motorcycle periodicals, including MCN.

Patricia Holland, Bournemouth University

Patricia Holland is a writer, lecturer and researcher specialising in television, photography and popular imagery. In the 1980s she collaborated with photographer Jo Spence to produce Family Snaps: the meanings of domestic photography (Virago 1991) and has most recently completed an study of personal photographs for the 5th edition of Photography: a Critical Introduction (ed Liz Wells: forthcoming 2015). She has contributed to a number of Readers on photography, television and cultural studies and is the author of Picturing Childhood (I.B.Tauris 2006); The Angry Buzz: ‘This Week’ and Current Affairs Television (I.B.Tauris 2006) and Broadcasting and the NHS in the Thatcherite 1980s: the Challenge to Public Service (Palgrave Macmillan 2013).

Declan Sheehan

Declan Sheehan is a curator who has worked on major photographic projects with the Fondation Gilles Caron, Nerve Centre, Browse Foto Festival Berlin, War Photo Gallery Dubrovnik, and the large-scale community photography project Portrait of a City. Currently Declan is Social Innovator: Visual Arts at Holywell Trust, where he devises projects to make connections between themes in contemporary visual art and ideas in social innovation. Declan has worked as Director, Project Director, Curator and Film Producer for various arts projects in Ireland both sides of the border, and has been the recipient of numerous awards including 2013 Digital Culture Project of the Year for Portrait of a City, and the 2013 Arts Council of Ireland Curatorial Residency. He is currently working as postgraduate researcher at NCAD on the Derry/Donegal photographic collection The Glass Album.

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