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Photography, public pedagogy and the politics of place-making in post-industrial areas

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This paper discusses the way in which public photographic depictions of places and place-based communities contribute to the construction of local identity and community building. Being public and visualised statements about what a place and the people living there are and what they are not, photographs incite public debate about place and community. The paper discusses two interventions, one in Ghent, Belgium, involving professional photographers from outside the neighbourhood, and one in Bonnybridge, Scotland, involving amateur photography by local residents. Both are attempts by community workers to encourage citizens to discuss alternative realities of themselves, their neighbours and their neighbourhood. Starting from theories of place-making and public pedagogy, we reveal how both nonetheless exemplify very different strategies to democratise community-building processes.

Keywords: community building; construir comunidades; création de communauté; fotografía; identidad; identity; identité; lieu; lugar; pedagogía; photographie; photography; place; public pedagogy; pédagogie publique

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Division of Geography, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences,University of Leuven, Leuven, Belgium 2: School of Education, University of Stirling, Stirling,Scotland, UK 3: Department of Sociology,University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium

Publication date: 2012-11-01

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