Working Group

Thinking Photography Lab

The Thinking Photography Lab (TPL) seeks to bring scholars, curators, makers/practitioners and students together on a regular basis (ideally multiple times per year) in a semi-formal setting, TPL is intended as a network space for those interested to think openly and critically about (ethnographic/colonial) photography, their histories, materialities, theories and their roles in the present. Each workshop may take a different format; sometimes we will invite national or international speakers/ makers to present on their work; at other times we will explore some of the issues about photographic theory and practice here in the Netherlands. We will also include student presentations, or presentations of research scholars associated with the RCMC. The starting point of the TPL is the over 750,000 photographs in our collections, which represent a long and global history of photographic practices.

The first meeting addressed the question of photographic genres. More specifically, we were interested in unpacking the category of Ethnographic/Colonial photography. We looked critically at the ways in which such a category has come to include - even hide - multiple photographic practices, and asked what the category allows and what it conceals. This question was based on the presentation of Bruna Triana, a Phd student from Brazil who was a Research Associate at the RCMC.

Photo credits

Header: Kazerne at Cape Coast (1870-1890), photographer unknown, from the collection of Dr. Hendrik Pieter Nicolaas Muller (1859 - 1941), TM-60024040

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Dear Eric Patel, Thank you for your interest in the PTW. The best way to keep updated with the lastest news on our programmes and workshops is to subscribe to our newsletter on this page: Best wishes, Ninja Rijnks-Kleikamp
Hi, I'm currently a master of photography student at AKV St. Joost; my current research and thesis is about colonial archives and non-western systems of representation. I'd love to participate in the next TPW workshop. Is there a way to stay informed about the next one? Looking forward to hearing from you. Best Regards, Eric Patel


Wayne Modest
Head Research Center for Material Culture
Carolyn Nakamura
Senior Researcher & Research Coordinator

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