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Photography, Memory, and Historical Truth [Fotografie, memorie si adevar istoric]


  • Ludmila BIRSAN

    () (BURSIER DOCTORAND, Academia Romana, Filiala Iasi)


As a sign of the past, photography is the strongest form of memory. Walter Benjamin wrote in Arcades Project that history decomposes in images, not stories. Although photographs provide us with the possibility to witness worlds we no longer have access to, some authors claim that photography does not illustrate the truth and is opposite to history. Photographs are are discontinuous, they `freeze` events, they are traces of events. Unlike photography, that just captures the moment without considering its meaning, history also tries to understand its meaning. Roland Barthes, Susan Sontag, John Berger and Siegfried Kracauer are a few of the authors that analysed the connection between photography, memory and history.

Suggested Citation

  • Ludmila BIRSAN, 2014. "Photography, Memory, and Historical Truth [Fotografie, memorie si adevar istoric]," Anuarul Universitatii „Petre Andrei” din Iasi / Year-Book „Petre Andrei” University from Iasi, Fascicula: Drept, Stiinte Economice, Stiinte Politice / Fascicle: Law, Economic Sciences, Political Scien, Editura Lumen, Department of Economics, vol. 0(14), pages 81-88, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:lum:rev11d:v::y:2014:i:14:p:81-88

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    More about this item


    memory; photography; history; Roland Barthes; Susan Sontag; Kracauer; Berger;

    JEL classification:

    • A23 - General Economics and Teaching - - Economic Education and Teaching of Economics - - - Graduate


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