Critical Theory Essay & Presentation

Presentation

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The Brief

This assignment is designed to enable you to develop your awareness of the debates that surround photography practice, your research, and to develop critical and analytical skills. You will have been introduced to a number of theoretical texts and subjects that have relevance to different aspects of photography. In addition you will have discovered your own texts and sources.

Choose one of the texts or subjects discussed in the workshop sessions or new subject matter. In what ways can key theories be interpreted? Research ideas relating to this and discuss in relation to other historical and/or contemporary perspectives on the subject. Using critical analysis apply those ideas to contemporary examples of photography and your own practice.

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the Question 

What degree of change has there been in the visual commodity of the black man in the post-colonial era?

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Work in Progress 112/03/15

Essay Presentation  submitted as illustrated in slide show above.

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Work in Progress 10/03/15

Working on documents in tandem as follows:

Essay

  • Question
  • Definition of terms
  • Methodology
  • Sections 1 – Historic Context
  • Sections 1 – Post-colonial era
  • Sections 1 – Conclusion

Presentation Framework set out

  • Part 1 –  Historic: in quick succession and the beginning to set the context
  • Part 2 – Contemporary:Post-colonial era in detail
    • A3 print for table top huddle type presentation
  • Audience participation

Part 1 & part 2 are to be printed A4 print for submission as well as CD

Blog – Work in progress of the above

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Work in Progress 03/03/15

Established a defining moment

The development of the notion of the other has its origins in the Curse of Ham in summary it is said to be the explanation of Black skin in the Bible. The Biblical text is outlined in the book of Genesis and describes an incident of Noah’s wickedness and disobedience to God resulting in Noah cursing his grandson Canaan not his son Ham as the title of the cures would suggest. Key to this story is, who is said to have given birth to Nubians or modern-day Ethiopians.

Men derive their status from their father, so since the father of the Black man is said to have been cursed, the further connection being made that the mother of the black man gave birth to Nubians, the struggle for equality was uphill from early antiquity.

The apparent cursed condition of the black latterly resurfaced in the C.15, the beginning of the slave trade

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Tutorial 27/02/15

  • The Question
    • Reconsider the question as it still contains bias, approach answering the question as follows:
      1. what is visual commodity of the black man between the neo and post imperialist era, discuss?
      2. has there been a change
  • Advice for progress:
  • introduction – discusses framework diagram + the first hidden part of the question i.e. Has there been a change in…[the visual commodity…]
  • Dates and historical context in the floor notes (not counted in word count)
  • key into what aspects of the visual commodity will you be discussing – Visual examples past and contemporary
  • Conclusion: critique what has been written – what happens when the observed is now behind the lens?

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Essay progress 13/02/15

Screenshot (434)

  • Defined overall  document framework
  • Outlining statement defining the purpose of the essay
  • Developing introduction to include
    • early antiquity – roman occupation of Britain
  • Developing contextual historical diagram
    • Added key thinking to timeline, I may replace the key thinking time, with the main time, to simplify the slide

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Tutorial 10/02/15

  • Discussed the initial overview of the 500 word introduction, the was in its current form if was too quick to enter into the facts
    • opening paragraph work well
    • I Discussed my further reading which I thought could be inserted just after the opening paragraph
  • Advice for progression:
    • Develop a framework document
    • Develop a draught
    • Consider the nature of the presentation
  • Title development: Ideally the title should work for both theEssayand theFMP  with a photographic /visual element
    • Black is a colour (thinking in terms of Black being the
    • The darkest colour
    • the absence of light – refers to the colour black but has negative connotations
    • white is the absence of colour (Black is a color, white is not a color
    • K – refers to colour in the printing industry CMYK
    • sugar with a K

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Essay progress review 20/01/15

  1. identify problems which currently exist – how are they to be solved
  2. Are there any ethical issues concerning your conduct in research and potential outcomes?
  3. what are the concerns which could jeopardise the success of the project?
  4. Have you examined the current knowledge base of concepts and theories in the field
  5. State the strengths and weaknesses of your project so far?
  6. where is the most development required at this stage?
  7. Has the data / information been given adequate analysis and reflection?
  8. How have you demonstrated knowledge and understanding in your chosen topic?

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Tutorial 13/01/15

  • Discussed the component parts of the essay questions which need tp be defined
  • Discussed the diagram the triangular trade, this then brought to light the additional issue which was in defining the actual difference between the

the difference between the neo-colonial and post colonial era

  • the key area for investigation therefore is whether there is/was a difference in the visual economy of the man between these periods.  In light of this tutorial the question was further defined as follows:

Has there been a change in the visual commodity of the black man between the neo and post imperialist era?

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Essay development 10/01/15

  • Start timeline graphics – this will anchor the contextualenquires for the text and become part of the presentation of ideas for both essay andFMP –
    • 11/01/15 timeline started ~ Set out by Regent: key dates set out are the beginning and end of the slave trade, British institutions set up to aid and support slavery, the Colonial trading companies,
    • Colonial,  Neo-colonial and Post-colonial era, in need of further definition
    • post-colonial methods of control e.g. The Commonwealth , “their nations rank in the top-tier of producers of gold, diamonds, platinum and other metals” Commonwealth network

  • Culture & imperialism – read & formulate 500 – 1000 words
  • Identity and race –  read & formulate 500 – 1000 words
  • In response to reading about the work of Photographer Guy Tillim  – investigate the term Neo-colonial and determine its relevance to this topic. 

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Tutorial 3 – 06/01/15

  • Discussed the areas for investigation which included: Culture,  imperialism, race and  identity. 
  • Advise for progression:
    • Develop a framework document
    • Develop a draught
    • Consider the nature of the presentation

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Question – Development

What degree of change has there been in the visual commodity of the black man in the post-imperialist era?

Define the following terms:

  • Degree – establish a starting point, (pre-, post transatlantic slave trade, a contemporary moment) to make reference change
  • change –  to establish the degree to which there has been movement both positively and negatively from the established starting point
  • commodity – strongly tied to imperialism defined as exchange value and use value, how does this then relate to  Visual Commodity as referred to in the question 
  • Imperialism  – A policy of extending a country’s power and influence through colonization, use of military force, or other means
  • black man – Define diasporic man, where was he born, where does he live,  what is his (typical?) socio-economic status?  what his is job?
  • post-imperialist –  idea: other means element of imperialism comes into play here –  this bring ideas into the present day – define what is meant by this.
  • Anecdotal evidence  – Does he feel attitudes have changed?

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Bibliography & References

  • Professor Robert Beckford  – The African Diaspora
  • Lenny Henry – The diversity debate
  • Sandra Kirr – Director of Race for Opportunity
  • Femi Otitoju  – Unconscious Bias
  • the Slavery museum  – Liverpool
  • John Akomfrah – Filmmaker

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Radio 4  30 /12/14

Professor Robert Beckford  Professor of Theology and Culture in the African Diaspora – Thought for the day, Radio 4

Lenny Henry Guest Editor Radio 4 –  a continuity of the diversity debate re-introduced the following leading lights

  • Sowetto kinch – Jaz  musician contemporary
  • Andrew Ramroop  – Taylor – First Black Man on Savil Row
  • Diane abbot MP – First Black Woman
  • Barbara Blake Hanner – Broadcaster  1968 – First Black Woman

 Development – Contemporary evidence 11/12/14

Lenny Henry - the Diversity Commission

Lenny Henry – Speaking at the The Equities Commission regarding diversity in television

On Tuesday 24 June, the Culture, Media and Sport Committee will continue its inquiry into the future of the BBC. The Committee will take evidence from Lenny Henry and others to examine his proposal to increase the number of black, Asian and minority ethnic people in the television industry and to consider the BBC’s performance in serving audiences.

  • The Diversity Deficit – ITV Tonight 11th December 2014 – Charlene White (reporter) Vince Cable Business secretary quoted 100 companies  London tonight programme December 2014 (freedom of information request  – information on current departments sited in the programme)
  • Richard Heaton –  Civil Service Diversity Champion (Permanent secretary for the Cabinet office) Development programmes
  • Sandra Kirr – Director of Race for Opportunity
  • Femi Otitoju  – Unconscious Bias –  implicit associations – looking at implicit biases  – colour (1st), gender (2nd), bias

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Tutorial 2  – 5/12/14 

  1. Discussed the various nuances of my question to date (outlined below).  Then discussed the nature of their inherent bias and the likely outcome of a balanced argument in light of that bias.  We subsequently discussed defining the question so as  incorporate balance in the proposal there by widening the arguments in the response.

Question – Development

  • In what ways could it be argued that the photographic representation of black men excludes them from becoming a positive part of society?
  • In what ways could it be argued that the photographic representation of black men excludes them from becoming a valued and integral part of society?
  •  In what ways could it be argued that the photographic representation of black men excludes them from becoming a positive part of society?
  •  In what ways could it be argued that the photographic representation of black men excludes from becoming a positive part of society?
  •  [enquire] In what ways could it be argued that appearances of the black man is the negative connotation
  • [Describe] the connotative appearances of the black man as implied by the notion of frame
  • In what ways could it be argued that the appearances of the black man in the notion of the frame is implicit in
  • In what ways could it be argued that the black man’s appearances in the notion of the frame is implicit in
  • In what ways could it be argued that the notion of the frame in which the black man’s appearances are conceptualised implicate
  • What contextual references are intrinsic to the notion of the frame in which the appearances black man is viewed
  • What contextual references are implied in the nature of the frame in which the appearances black man is viewed
  • In which ways could it be argued that the appearances of the black man in the visual image invoke the latent traces of  imperialism (or of empire)

My background ideas manifestation of ideas in its visual counterpart, (advertising, news media)

  • Appearance/s – the way that someone or something looks 
  • Connotative appearances (an idea or feeling which invoked which is in addition to its literal or primary meaning) – Franz Fenon, John Berger, Susan Sontag
  • Denotative appearances  – (literal Meaning – what is presented )
  • invoke (verb) – call on (a deity or spirit) in prayer, as a witness, or for inspiration.
  • Latent –  (of a quality or state) existing but not yet developed or manifest; hidden or concealed.
  • The notion of otherness –  central is the sociological analyses of constructed identity between the majority versus minority group. This is characterised by the representation of difference between the dominant group/s in society which generally have greater the political power.  It challenges the idea that Identities are a natural or innate view e.g. something that we are born
  • Notion of frame eg Frame Semantics – The term frame semantics refers to a wide variety of approaches to the systematic description of natural language meanings. The one common feature of all these approaches – which, however, does not sufficiently distinguish frame semantics from other frameworks of semantic description – is the following slogan due to Charles Fillmore (1977a): Meanings are relativist to scenes.

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Reading list- initial look

search mode Moodle> LRC resources>WH Wilson > Artful Text

Screen shot 2014-11-21 at 15.08.07

  1. On black men, Marriott, David. Published : New York Columbia University Press Chichester 2000
  2. Representing black men, Blount, Marcellus. Cunningham, George P. (George Philbert), Published : New York Routledge London 1996
  3. Brother to brother: new writings by black gay men, Hemphill, Essex..Published : Alyson Publications Boston 1991
  4. The Black studies reader, Michel, Claudine. Hudley, Cynthia. Bobo, Jacqueline.,Published : New York Routledge London 2004
  5. Body & soul: the black male book, Thomas, Duane.,Published : Universe New York 1998
  6. Big black penis: misadventures in race and masculinity, Taylor, Shawn.,Published : Lawrence Hill Chicago, Ill Gazelle [distributor] Lancaster
  7. Black ivory: slavery in the British Empire, Walvin, James.,Published : Blackwell Oxford 2001
  8. Black male: representations of masculinity in contemporary American art Golden, Thelma. Whitney Museum of American Art., Published : Whitney Museum of American Art New York 1994
  9. The black man’s burden: Africa and the curse of the nation-state Davidson, Basil Davidson, Basil, Published: James Currey London 1992
  10. Invisible man Ralf Ellison
  11. Stupid White Men
  12. Franze Fenon Black Skin: White Mask
  13. Race, Bernasconi, Robert., Published : Malden, Mass Blackwell Publishers Oxford 2001
  14. Practising identities: power and resistance, Practising identities: power and resistance, Roseneil, Sasha Seymour, Julie., Published : Macmillan Press Basingstoke 1999

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External reading list

Screenshot (261)

Screenshot (260)

    • School of African and Oriental Studies (SOAS)
    • Black History Organisations (UK)
    • Victoria & Albert Museum concerning the African slave trade reading list
    • John Akomfrah – Filmmaker The Stewart Hall Project

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Tutorial  1 – 21/11/14

  1. looked at the initial proposal for the essay question, found many issues which certain words:

    In what ways could it be argued that the photographic representation of black men excludes them from becoming a positive part of society?

    which black men?

    Are they excluded?

  2. Discussed the visual approach to essay writing how best to visually construct the overarching idea for the essay. Followed by an approach to deconstruct the strands of the essay into usable form.

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Notes – to be deleted

Otherness an overview

Consider the mechanisms for enforcing and reinforcing this attitude?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/suchitra-vijayan/race-photography-and-stil_1_b_4175498.html

the Stuart Hall Project

Photographic/ film reference

Text reference

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