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Title: Camera Iranica : popular digital photography in/of Iran
Author: Walton, Shireen Marion
ISNI:       0000 0004 6063 2501
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2015
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This thesis explores the contemporary genre of popular digital photography, with a specific look at photographs taken in/of Iran. It focuses on the contemporary practice of 'photoblogging' or photography-based weblogging. Photoblogs are the result of the daily posting of digital photographs concerning everyday life in Iran on personal blogs specifically dedicated to photography. The title of the thesis, Camera Iranica, refers to the subject and scope of the study, as well as to its digital-ethnographic field site. I demarcate this as a conceptual and transnational cultural field, encompassing the multitude of places and spaces, on- and offline in which Iranians across the world engage in the practice of producing and viewing popular digital photography. Iranian photoblogs are shown to operate in a manner contingent upon a particular 'visual legacy' of contested cultural identity politics since the Islamic Revolution of 1979, propagated inside Iran and in 'the West'. The thesis traces the social, economic and political implications of developments in photography and digital technologies in Iran in light of this backdrop, and explores how and why Iranians in Iran and abroad are taking up popular digital photography for visual storytelling projects, with 'Iran' as their visual subject. Based on the study's empirical findings, I extrapolate theoretical arguments concerning historical and cultural understandings of digital photographs shown and seen in online environments, and propose innovative methodological strategies for digital-visual anthropologists to continue work in these fields.
Supervisor: Harris, Clare ; Talib, Mohammad Sponsor: Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Photography--Digital techniques ; Blogs--Social aspects--Iran ; Social media--Iran ; Iran--Social conditions--21st century