In Relation: Photography's Communities

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detail of “Suburban Nightscapes #2”,  2023,  ​ ​ courtesy of the artist
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Noon Oct. 25, 2024

Photography Network Symposium

Call for Papers: 2024 Photography Network symposium “In Relation: Photography’s Communities” 

October 25-27, 2024 

Tucson, Arizona + virtual (hybrid) 

Photography Network will convene its fourth annual symposium in the Sonoran Desert Borderlands city of Tucson, Arizona in partnership with the Center for Creative Photography at the University of Arizona. Grounded in the themes that arise in three CCP-organized exhibitions of Latinx photography that will be on view this fall (Louis Carlos Bernal: Retrospectiva, curated by Elizabeth Ferrer; Chicana Photographers LA, curated by Sybil Venegas; and Laura Aguilar: Nudes in Nature, curated by Sybil Venegas and Christopher Velasco), “In Relation” will consider how communities are made visible, defined, and constituted through photography.  

In her book Latinx Photography in the United States: A Visual History (2021), Elizabeth Ferrer writes: “As the photographer/subject relationship shifted from outsider/insider to insider/insider [in the late twentieth century], the photograph became less an ethnographic document than an autonomous and self-validating form of individual and community expression.” This shift highlights questions of agency, circulation, diaspora, and storytelling that are relevant to the practice and institutional interpretation of photography. Taking this idea as a point of departure, we invite proposals that broadly respond to the following questions and themes: 

  • How have artists, especially those from Latinx communities, used photography to probe issues of visibility, belonging, and representation? How do their artistic practices constitute forms of activism? 

  • Who has the right to tell stories for whom?  

  • How does the circulation of photographs create—or restrict—communities of subjects and viewers? 

  • How have borders—in the US and beyond—shaped histories of photography, and how has photography from borderlands challenged state-imposed divisions?

  • What alternate models might exist for interpreting photographs and photographic practices that transcend simplistic binaries such as “insider” versus “outsider”? 

  • What do authentically relational, community-centered curatorial practices look like? How are methodologies such as community advisory councils rethinking the notion of curatorial voice and storytelling?  

Submission Information

Photography Network invites proposals across disciplines and a broad range of subjects that reflect the geographic and thematic diversity of the field. Practitioners and scholars at any stage of their careers are welcome to submit their research. We also welcome international scholars but note that the conference will be in English. 

The symposium organizers encourage a variety of presentational styles. In addition to proposals for individual, 20-minute papers relating to the themes outlined above, we also seek submissions for a workshop on the topic of community-centered exhibition development and for a roundtable featuring presentations from artist activists .
Please prepare for submission:

(1)  a 250-word abstract with a clear indication of format, and

(2)  a two-page resume or CV.

All files should be named “[LAST NAME]–CV” or “[LAST NAME]–ABSTRACT.”

Email completed materials by May 15 to the Photography Network Symposium organizing committee: Josie Johnson, Emilia Mickevicius, and Anne Cross at Notifications of accepted proposals will be emailed by mid-June. The schedule and registration information will be available by July 1 and the symposium will be held October 25–27, 2024. 

Note: All are welcome to apply. Accepted presenters must be Photography Network members in good standing at the time of the symposium. We have a sliding scale membership: $20 (student/unaffiliated), $40 (affiliated), or $100 (sustaining). We also have free need-based memberships. Please visit the Photography Network’s membership page ( for more information on how to join.