Albert Hirschman Centre on Democracy
03 March 2021

Reckonings & Revisions

Join us for an event exploring the project Images, (In)Visibilities and Work on Appearance, led by Professor Patricia Spyer.

The rise in digital technologies and social media has left an indelible impact on the production, circulation and reception of images. As the modes and sources of image production and dissemination multiply and transform, the role of images in the constitution of events and the production of politics and social relations becomes increasingly salient. This is especially important in places subject to rapid, profound transformation where the images and, more broadly, appearances identified with a prior sociopolitical order are challenged, as in post-authoritarian Indonesia. In such circumstances, image-makers or persons and collectivities who produce, curate, and/or broker images are key to visualizing alternative futures and forms of (co)habitation as a prerequisite for social change.

The SNF-funded project Images, (In)Visibilities and Work on Appearance, led by Professor Patricia Spyer and hosted at the Albert Hirschman Centre on Democracy, investigates how image-makers in three Indonesian cities address and redress a crucial dimension of sociopolitical change by making and deploying images, studying the (partial) invisibility and lack of recognition corresponding to asymmetries of, amongst others, religion, ethnicity, and race.  

The online workshop Reckonings & Revisions, which will take place on 19 March, prefaces the launch of the official website of the project, and tackles some of the major theoretical stakes of the project- critically engaging with topics such as (in)visibilities, aesthetics, affective forms and the work on appearance. The discussants will address questions of visual rights, (in)visibilities, and the material mediations of political recognition and belonging from a range of empirical situations.

The workshop will also explore the role of political infrastructures of the imagination in the creation and reproduction of sociopolitical environments where ‘history ain’t got the eyes to see everything.’ Equally important will be a focus on the forms of representational redress and ‘work on appearances’ through which such environments are re-envisioned and remade.