Transforming the Everyday: Museum Photographic Archives and Social Change
Photographs inhabit different kinds of spaces within museums, are accumulated in various layers and perform significant work. However, it is only recently that photography’s uncanny relation to the museum institution has received academic attention and is emerging as a particularly complex rather than a straightforward one.
How, then, could one approach museum photographic archives as a meaningful resource? What are some of the parameters that can make such archives relevant to present-day audiences?
A photographic archive kept at the Leventis Municipal Museum in Nicosia, Cyprus presents us with a rare glimpse into everyday urban life in the former British colony in the years between 1940 and 1960. Taken as a case study it offers possibilities to think how everydayness within an archive may connect to everydayness as embodied, lived experience and how this encounter may provide routes to social changes.
Despo Pasia is a museologist and museum educator. She is currently a PhD candidate at UCL - Institute of Education, University of London. Her research concerns the educational use of museum photographic archives and centres on a phenomenological investigation of children’s encounters with photographic constructions of gender in urban Cyprus between the 1940’s and the 1960’s. She has curated contemporary art exhibitions and has designed educational programmes for archaeological, historical and contemporary art museums in Cyprus and Greece, Erasmus+ and Marie Curie research programmes. She is organizing committee of the International Conference of Photography and Theory and research associate of the Cultural Studies and Contemporary Arts Lab of the European University, Cyprus. Her research interests include photography, hybrid displays, museum studies and museum education.
Despo Pasia PhD Candidate UCL Institute of Education