Childhood Publics and the Child’s Gaze is a three-part seminar series dedicated to thinking about the various aspects of children’s photography. In each of the three seminars, different speakers address the archival, aesthetic, ethical, legal, and technical challenges and opportunities that children’s photography creates in research and practice.
The first seminar recording, ‘gazing at childhood in the public sphere’, features Melissa Benn, author and journalist, Liam Berriman, Senior Lecturer in Childhood and Youth Studies at the University of Sussex, and Ioanna Noula, Research Manager at the Internet Commission and visiting Research Fellow in the Department of Media and Communications at the London School of Economics. They discuss the journalistic practices of representing children and children’s issues, digital practices of putting children’s photographs online, and the regulatory context in which these different practices happen. They also talk about the infrastructures and affordances that give rise to public visualizations of the child. The first seminar was chaired by Zoe Walshe.
To connect with the Children’s Photography Archive on social media, the CPA is on Instagram and Twitter @ChildPhotoArch
You can also listen to the seminar recording on SoundCloud.
The speakers referred to several works during the session, including:
- Her essay Continuous Excursions: Thoughts on Writing about Children and the Community.
- Photographers John Berger and Jean Mohr and journalist Joan Didion; also, women photographers Jo Spence and Sally Mann.
- Charles Booth, Henry Mayhew, and much more recently, Nick Davie’s work DARK HEART: THE SHOCKING TRUTH ABOUT HIDDEN BRITAIN (1998).
- The Death of Alan Kurdi; Child with breathing apparatus; a Financial Times’ feature on toxic masculinity and how young boys respond to it with photographs by Laura Pannack.
- Craig Easton’s photographs of the Williams family in Blackpool, and the exhibition bedrooms of London exhibition about which you can read more here.
- Articles: How Photos of Your Kids Are Powering Surveillance Technology, by Kashmir Hill and Aaron Krolik; France aims to protect kids from parents oversharing pics online, by Laura Kayali.
- David Beer’s book The Data Gaze Capitalism, Power and Perception.
- Photography and surveillance: Barnardo’s examples; stock image example; Black teen kicked out of skating rink due to facial recognition misidentification; Facial recognition cameras arrive in UK school canteens.
- Holloway and Valentine’s work Spatiality and The New Social Studies of Childhood.
- Photography and documentation: “Tangible as Tissue”: Arnold Gesell, Infant Behavior, and Film Analysis by Scott Curtis and The Vanishing Art of the Family Photo Album by Tim Clark.
- Datafied visual documentation: MOSAIC Educator and Family Apps and The Baby time-lapse trend by Vanessa Barford.
- General comment No. 25 (2021) on children’s rights in relation to the digital environment.
- THE AGE OF SURVEILLANCE CAPITALISM: THE FIGHT FOR A HUMAN FUTURE AT THE NEW FRONTIER OF POWER by Shoshana Zuboff.
- The Molly Russell case.
- The trouble with Roblox, the video game empire built on child labour, by Simon Parkin.
- The Age Appropriate Design Code; Safety by Design; The Digital Services Act.
*Jon Haidt’s work was also mentioned in the panel discussion.
The seminar series is organized by Sevasti-Melissa Nolas, Brenda Herbert, Zoe Walshe (all Goldsmiths, University of London) and Elina Moraitopoulou (Hamburg University/Aristotle University of Thessaloniki) and the Children’s Photography Archive. The events are part of the Sociological Review Seminar Series and have been funded by the Sociological Review Foundation.