Distance to Photography. Private Photoarchives and Their Roles in Ukrainian Institutions

Distance to Photography. Private Photoarchives and Their Roles in Ukrainian Institutions

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Time and space spans between us and photographs change the attitude and status we instill into them. What was created for a certain purpose, sometimes for a utilitarian objective, may change its meaning in a different place and time. It assumes or loses its value. The flexibility of this medium makes it flow in a continuous movement and evade the interpretation paradigm. It is hardly possible to finalize the categories for photography which creates a misunderstanding when there is a need to decide what institution shall be responsible for their preservation.

Today, collections of photographs in Ukraine are held in museums, archives, galleries, libraries, and research institutions. Most of them were established in the political and theoretical settings we have left in a rather remote past. On the other hand, the calls to consider to rethink and actualize approaches to photographic heritage are most actively promoted by private initiatives.
At the workshop "Distance from Photography. Private Photoarchives and Their Roles in Ukrainian Institutions” we shall talk about photography and photoarchives that are found on different stages on their way to institutions. Some of them have already arrived at the destination, others are not identified and indefinite whether they would ever make the trip.

We are trying to understand what principles and approaches to photography are available in Ukraine. Who assumes the responsibility for the preservation of photoarchives? What is the impact on the photoarchive produced by a researcher’s position, by the keeper, or the curator? Can a photoarchive be capable enough to find its place among the institutions itself? Finally, shall the institution be the "final destination" for the photoarchive?

The event will be taking place online on zoom. Everyone interested is invited to register.

Working language - Ukrainian.

The workshop will run for two days:

  • November 19, 10.00-14.00
  • November 20, 11.00-17.00

Digital History Seminars of the Center for Urban History explores methodological, ethical and theoretical aspects of generation, collection and analysis of digital or digitalized photographs and video recordings as testimony on the past and the worlds in which people used to live or are still living. In addition, the seminars also touch upon the issue of awareness capacity of historical visual data used for comprehensive presentations and lectures for different audiences. The goal of the seminars is to have a discussion on available possibilities and challenges of digital history among researchers.

Seminars consist of three major blocks:

  •      Artifacts (photographs, files, films, etc.)
  •      Technologies (camera, antenna, screen, print, software, etc.)
  •      Visual and digital methods (sense and analysis)


Center for Urban History


Adam Mickiewicz Institute

"Archeology of Photography" Foundation

The project is implemented with the support of the Lviv City Council.

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