2024 :: Japan : Austria | An intercultural case study on how we construct our private memories in different societies. With reserachers from both countires we compare and cross examine the methods of storytelling, design and purpose of privte photoalbums.
Private photo albums are probably the most extensive source material on the pictorial history of the 19th and 20th centuries. Photo albums are an important medium for the private transmission of history and thus a significant part of popular historiography. It is undisputed that photography has a decisive influence on our view of history, and empirical studies are increasingly highlighting the power of the family tradition in shaping historical consciousness. Private photo albums are a precious source for the study of this kind of popular history transmission, which is still far too little used.
However, photo albums in the 20th century do not only contain family stories, the meaning of which often becomes difficult to decipher with the disappearance of the members. Albums also contain the contemporary history of an era, a country, a state, but also of the world wars and much more. Especially in explicitly social contexts, not only individual photographs were used for propaganda purposes, but entire albums were created with ideological intentions and goals. They were intended to achieve a strong evocative effect through text and image montages and also to tell a very specific form of story. Albums, however, also bear witness to political-ideological contexts where these were not explicitly or intentionally displayed. Therefore, in retrospect, albums are becoming increasingly important as historical documents and have also been discovered as sources by historians who are otherwise still quite iconophobic.
Taking part on the study of visual culture we start an intercutlural project to analyse and compare the creation of privat photo albums in Autria and Japan. With reserachers from both countires we compare and cross examine the methods of storytelling, design and purpose of privte photoalbums. Who is the author, how the audience, what is the story, how were they used. Quetsions like that will be discussed and evaluated.