The remediation of the personal photograph and the politics of self-representation in digital storytelling
Over the past couple of decades, the cultural field formerly known as ‘domestic’, and later ‘personal’ photography has been remediated and transformed as part of the social web, with its convergence of personal expression, interpersonal communication, and online social networks (most recently via platforms like Flickr, Facebook and Twitter). Meanwhile, the Digital Storytelling movement (involving the workshop-based production of short autobiographical videos) from its beginnings in the mid 1990s relied heavily on the narrative power of the personal photograph, often sourced from family albums, and later from online archives. This paper addresses the new issues arising for the politics of self-representation and personal photography in the era of social media, focusing particularly on the consequences of online image-sharing. It discusses in detail the practices of selection, curation, manipulation and editing of personal photographic images among a group of activist-oriented queer digital storytellers who have in common a stated desire to share their personal stories in pursuit of social change, and whose stories often aim to address both intimate and antagonistic publics.
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