Survey Photography and Cultural Heritage in Europe (1851-1945): Expanding the Field

Survey Photography and Cultural Heritage in Europe (1851-1945):  Expanding the Field

Survey Photography & Cultural Heritage (Warsaw, 14-15 Apr 15)

Warsaw, Institute of Art, Polish Academy of Sciences, April 14 - 15, 2015
Deadline: Oct 15, 2014

A workshop organized by Prof. Elizabeth Edwards and Dr. Ewa Manikowska 

Warsaw, Institute of Art, Polish Academy of Sciences

The large-scale application of photography to the recording and 
preservation of cultural heritage is a transnational movement that 
appeared at a very particular cultural moment. This workshop focuses on 
the phenomenon of survey photography in the same historical period,  
from Britain in the age of High Empire across Europe to the 
multi-ethnic territories of the western borderlands of the former 
Russian Empire. While there are striking links between the survey 
images produced in such distinct cultural and political contexts, there 
are also similarities and differences in the patterns underlying their 
production, use, dissemination, impact and the networks of survey 
actors.  This workshop emerges from the conviction of a need to 
establish a new research agenda at the intersection of the cultural 
history, history of photography,  and the concept of national heritage. 
Thus, the core aims of the workshop are to explore the practices and 
politics of photographic survey and to indicate and delineate the 
topics, chronology and methodology of survey photography seen as a 
European phenomenon (both in its transnational and local aspects) 
closely linked to the Western concepts of culture, identity and memory.
Photography's affinities with the idea of record and survey date from 
the medium's very beginnings. Indeed, the first state-funded, 
institutional photographic project – the 1851 Mission Héliographique in 
France – had already linked photography with travel, the emerging 
concepts of cultural patrimony and its preservation. In the next 
decades the use of photography to explore and record cultural 
landscapes, historic buildings, and folklore became a central and 
widespread application across Europe. It was both a tool of a 
scientific and popular discovery. It was used extensively, on the one 
hand, in the practice of the emerging disciplines dealing with various 
aspects of cultural heritage and national origin, such as archaeology 
and anthropology, On the other hand, it was applied by amateurs for 
whom travel, the surrounding cultural landscape and photography itself, 
formed both a leisure practice and a means of self-definition. 
This 'recording impulse' was also a collective effort, 
institutionalised both in official and state-founded institutions 
(museums, universities, preservation offices) and in voluntary 
associations (photo-clubs, local societies of various kind), defined 
geographically (restricted to visualise a local / state / imperial / 
transnational territory) and culturally (aimed at defining a given 
ethnic or national culture).  Its output was organized across Europe in 
a large number of survey archives, which followed similar recording and 
archiving patterns. These sprung from expansive notions of cultural 
patrimony, the  picturing conventions of which were established across 
the continent through scientific journals and amateur photography 
periodicals, and were popularised widely through the mean of newspaper 
illustrations, postcards or photographic exhibitions. Conversely, 
photographic surveys were undertaken in often radically different 
political and cultural contexts in the dramatic period which culminated 
successively in the outbreak of the First and Second World Wars and to 
the establishment of a new political order in Europe. Survey 
photography – in the hands of different actors – played an essential 
role in these processes as a tool of a visualised politics of land, of 
cultural heritage and of identity and as a function of historical 
We invite papers both general and based on specific case-studies from 
the period between 1851 and 1945, which consider survey and record 
photography in its wider European context and which contribute to an 
understanding of its wider definition, analysis and understanding.

The workshop will discuss survey photography:

-    as a response to specific historical moments;
-    as a local and transnational phenomenon;
-    as a codification of national heritages;
-    as a scientific and an amateur practice;
-    as a geographical practice;
-    as a response to imperial expansion/consolidation;
-    as definition of group identities through the visualisation of 
cultural heritage;
-    through its institutions and actors; 
-    through its specific photographic practices;
-    through the photographic survey Archive

The workshop will take the form of pre-circulated papers (all papers to 
be submitted by the end of February 2015). Participants will be asked 
to use their papers as the basis of a 20 or 30 minute presentation 
(depending on final schedule) addressing the issues of the workshop.
The number of speakers is limited to 20. Applicants will be notified of 
the chosen proposals by 30 November 2014. The workshop will take place 
on 14–15 April 2015 in the Insitute of Art, Polish Academy of Sciences 
in Warsaw. Acoomodation costs can be covered when necessary.

Abstract of no more than 300 words should be sent by 15 October 2014 to:
Dr Manikowska:
Professor Edwards:
                 Ph.D. in Technologies for the Exploitation
                 of the Built Heritage .
                 Senior Lecturer in the Dept. of Architecture
                 College of Engineering , University of Mosul 
                 Mosul - Iraq .
Web Site:
Tel :           +964 (0)770 164 93 74