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Re-Envisioning Iran Online: Photoblogs and the Ethnographic 'Digital-Visual Moment'

Walton, S; (2015) Re-Envisioning Iran Online: Photoblogs and the Ethnographic 'Digital-Visual Moment'. Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication , 8 (2-3) pp. 398-418. 10.1163/18739865-00802012. Green open access

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Abstract

Digital photography and the Internet play important roles in contemporary cultures. They can create semiotic spaces in which ‘local’ imaginaries are projected in ‘global’ frames and cultural representations can be collectively challenged. This article discusses the genre of popular photography and its convergence with the Iranian social web in the form of photoblogs (photography-oriented blogs). It describes how everyday images posted on photoblogs playfully move beyond representative tropes that constitute a visual legacy in contemporary Iran. The findings provide insights into contemporary Iranian online visual-cultural production and develop wider theoretical understandings of the social uses of digital photography, including notions of ‘everyday aesthetics’. The ways in which Iranian photobloggers select, curate, exhibit and manipulate personal digital photographs on their photoblogs are shown to be exemplary of a contemporary ethnographic ‘digital-visual moment’ of popular cultural storytelling, existing at the interface of local and global, as well as actual and virtual publics.

Type: Article
Title: Re-Envisioning Iran Online: Photoblogs and the Ethnographic 'Digital-Visual Moment'
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1163/18739865-00802012
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1163/18739865-00802012
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: contemporary Iran; digital photography; visual representations; photoblogs; everyday aesthetics
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Anthropology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10070330
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