Rephotographic Powers: Teaching Rephotography As a Platform for Visual Communication in Turkey


Rephotography is the act of re-taking a previous photograph from the same vantage point, usually separated by a period of time. Rooted in 19th century scientific practices of recording environmental change (e.g. glaciers, plant population), it has since been adopted within fields of arts and humanities to illustrate cultural changes. Possessing the power to pull viewers into a dialogue with history through visual comparison, variations have increasingly been applied by artists, photographers and amateurs as a means of fostering discussion. However, viewing rephotography as a method reduces it to a technique to be applied and discarded when suited. If viewed as a genre–carrying its own histories, practices, assumptions and expectations that shift over time (Wells, 2000)–rephotography could provide a creative platform for developing practice amongst students of visual communication. Following a broad but brief overview of rephotography, the paper will discuss five different examples of rephotography projects as carried out by undergraduate students of the visual communication design program at Izmir University of Economics in Turkey between 2012 and 2014. During each semester, students were introduced to a wide variety of rephotography projects and asked to create responses to a brief varying from disciplined approaches to documenting the city to interpretive approaches according to students’ interests. The outcomes of each semester were self-evaluated using post-project questionnaires. Drawing upon these examples, this paper elevates rephotography from a method to a genre, and argues for a wider teaching of rephotography within the study of visual communications.

Author Information
Gary McLeod, University of the Arts London, United Kingdom

Paper Information
Conference: ACAH2015
Stream: Arts - Teaching and Learning the Arts

This paper is part of the ACAH2015 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon