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Human Rights From A Photographic Perspective

News: Feb 25, 2016

In the Autumn of 2016 Hasselblad Foundation is launching a research project on Photography and Human Rights. The project is currently looking for a photo-based artist ready to take on a post-doctoral position for two years at Valand Academy.

Signature of Death squad on door of slain peasant organizer, Arcatao, El Salvador, 1980 © Susan Meiselas, Hasselblad Award Winner 1994.

Valand Academy and the Hasselblad Foundation have a long-term partnership, now resulting in a post-doctoral position in Photography with a focus on Human Rights. Photo-based artists holding a PhD can apply, by the 29th of March 2016 at the latest. 

Applications for the position could address questions of the role of the photographic medium - both historically and currently - as social documentary, participatory photography, in citizen journalism, surveillance, political activism, abuses of power or other relevant challenges affecting the implementation of basic human rights.

Louise Wolthers, Research Manager at the Hasselblad Foundation, is one of the project's key figures. She explains that one of foundation's main goals is to support research within photography and that the human rights perspective is relevant for the collaboration with Valand Academy.

- We are already actively engaged with questions on photography in relation to human rights. Right now one ongoing research project is on surveillance. To discuss art in a rights' perspective is on the current agenda.

Cross Disciplinary Collaboration on Human Rights

The position at Valand Academy includes 80 percent research and 20 percent teaching. The teaching part will facilitate the integration of research in the core education. The candidate will be expected to contribute to the research and teaching environment at Valand Academy as well as the research and exhibition work at The Hasselblad Foundation. 

The candidate is also expected to contribute to the research programme independently and in collaboration with other researchers affiliated with the Hasselblad Foundation, the Valand Academy and the wider University on the question of human rights in the context of contemporary and historical photography and photographic practice and culture. Other national institutions and international partners will be involved.

- The assignment will be structured in dialogue with the new researcher and the content will most definitely be impacted by her or his project. The idea is that the research will contribute to a publication and exhibition on the subject at Hasselblad Center, explains Louise Wolthers.

The current research in the field of photography at Valand Academy has a strong curatorial approach with a focus on the mediation of photography through exhibitions and publications, as well as an ambitious research program in the field of environmental studies.

Niclas Östlind, who conducts research and teaching within photography at Valand Academy, describes the aims of the research project.

- The research will contribute to develop reflections and deepen the knowledge on human rights, from an artistic, historical photo-perspective. The project has a wide perspective through collaborations with other fields, with a focus on human rights questions, Niclas Östlind says. 

Louise Wolthers, photo Emma Skerfe
Niclas Östlind, photo Per L-B Nilsson


Read more on the position

BY: Paulin Nande

Page Manager: Paulin Nande|Last update: 1/14/2013
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