La photographie, histoire et contre-histoire
The book includes fundamental questions, such as whether photography helps to document history objectively or on the contrary is used to build an imaginary world; does it describe reality or does it alter it; is it a show or a tool of knowledge. The questions are illustrated in particular by the American case - the turn of the Civil War, the extraordinary vogue of the stereoscope in the years between 1860-1900, the multitude of archives and their use by historians, the role of photo-clubs and amateurs, etc. These questions are more important today than ever before. While Stalin strived to make photos say what he wished, while the theory of flying saucers could be credited, the same problem has simply being magnified with the new techniques to retouch photos and by the lack of control over the hundreds of sources. This was witnessed with the Arab Spring, as well as with the recent hurricanes or the events in Catalonia, where the prejudice in favor of photography as a medium benefitted a series of false images.
Review published in the newsletter #490 - from 9 November 2017 to 15 November 2017