Poverty and precarity in post-2008 Europe: visual practices and processes of social (in)visibility

Resultado de pesquisa


This study focuses on the visual construction of contemporary poverty and precarity within the discursive space of the post-2008 economic and debt crises in Europe. As the understanding of poverty has shifted from material deprivation to a more complex and relative phenomenon, the traditional idea of poverty as social invisibility no longer reflects the contemporary social condition. Instead, a more holistic view of the field of (in)visibility allows for a more nuanced approach. The historically informed analysis focuses on three European collective artistic projects, Depression Era (Greece), Crónica21 (Spain), and Projecto Troika (Portugal). The framework for the discussion is the social documentary tradition that began in the urban peripheries of modernizing cities and crystallized in the Farm Security Administration photography project (1937–1946) that existed during the American Great Depression in the 1930s. The analysis addresses historical continuities and disruptions in the visual construction of the social world, highlighting patterns of othering that derive from colonial and anthropological practices of looking, problematized by the postmodern critique in the 1970s and 1980s. This study argues that there has occurred a zooming out from the human body toward alternative expressions of social experience, such as “social landscapes” that merely connote human presence and draw connections with other, present or looming, catastrophes from a critical perspective. However, the research also shows how the importance of the human subject continues to be relevant in discourses of social justice. In this perspective, Depression Era, Crónica21, and Projecto Troika are discussed through their collective visual practices, from digital archives and exhibition practices to photobooks, as platforms and networks for civil society. In this context, the analysis contributes to an understanding of how images of poverty have shaped social imaginaries and have a central role in the negotiations of social relationality and communality in changing societies.
Idioma originalEnglish
Instituição de premiação
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
  • Gil, Isabel Capeloa, Supervisor
  • Lopes, Alexandra, Co-orientador
Promotores de tese
Data do prémio1 jan. 2024
Estado da publicaçãoPublicado - 2024

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