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Picturing the Ottoman Armenian World: Photography in Erzurum, Harput, Van and Beyond

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Zoom-based lecture by David Low, Ph.D.

This webinar is hosted by the UCLA Promise Armenian Institute and the Armenian Film Foundation with co-sponsorship by the UCLA Richard Hovannisian Endowed Chair in Modern Armenian History, the National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR) and the Ararat-Eskijian Museum.

Thursday, January 19, 2023
2:00 PM - 4:00 PM (Pacific Time)

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The Armenian contribution to Ottoman photography is supposedly well known, with histories documenting the famous studios of the imperial capital, Ottoman Armenian-run establishments that produced Orientalist visions for tourists and images of modernity for a domestic elite. Neglected, however, have been the eastern provinces where the majority of Ottoman Armenians were to be found, a neglect that has resulted in the distortion of both their role in photography and their wider history and experience. Photography there was grounded in very different concerns, with the work of studios reflecting and taking part in the momentous events and developments that took place in the region during the last decades of the empire. This talk makes a close examination of provincial photographs in order to shine a light on some previously unknown practitioners and, more vitally, the communities that they served.

David Low is a photographic historian specialising in the photography of the Ottoman Armenian world and the wider intersections between photography, migration and exile. He received his Ph.D. from the Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London, in 2015. His book, Picturing the Ottoman Armenian World: Photography in Erzurum, Harput, Van and Beyond was published by I.B.Tauris in 2022.