Framing The World Through My Photographs

#phonar – Sarah Davidman

In todays session we listened to a talk form Sarah Davidman. Davidman originally started out as a painter and a sculptor. In 1999 Davidman met Milly Mock (drag queen) which parked work within the transgender community.

With the topic being a potensionally sensitive topic, with family members may not know that they are trans. In order to protect her participants Davidman hands the control over the image to the participant. In doing this she empowers the participant and gains their trust. Davidman has to accept that it is not always possible to take the photos she wants to as a photographer.

After the shoot Davidman uploads the images to a computer and allows the participant to say which can be used and which absolutely shouldn’t be used. Davidman states “because the media projects a tragic view of the trans community” it is important to her that she allows her participants to be be seen as they want to be seen.

As well as her work with the trans community, her family held the secret that her uncle Ken was trans, in which the family attempted to erase from history and the family album. The family albums depict Ken as a male.

Family albums, in one sense, are creations/fictions of family histories. They present an idealised version of the family with photographs taken at weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, holidays and celebrations. The everyday life of the family is rarely represented and photographs are not usually taken of discord or difficulties.(

I found the quote particularly interesting as I am looking into the family photo album for my symposium.

From the three talks from Masour, Khamissy and Davidman the main point I have taken away is that its important to empower the participant by making them feel comfortable by handing over control over what is allowed to be depicted.


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This entry was posted on November 6, 2014 by in #Phonar and tagged , , .
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