Researching the One Day for Life project: an interview with Annebella Pollen

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In this book, Pollen's research into the One Day for Life photography project features as a four page illustrated case study of new and innovative methodologies for analysing archival photographs on a large scale. Penny Tinkler interviewed Pollen as one of a small group of scholars whose research could provide models of good practice for future studies using photographs in historical and social research contexts. Via a question and answer format, the book section outlines my photographic research methods, interpretive methodology and theoretical reflections. As Tinkler notes, in the book: 'Doing archival research requires reflection on archival practices. In some instances, how photographs are archived is also a focus of research. This is the case in Annebella Pollen's study of amateur photographs produced initially for submission to a UK charity event 'One Day for Life' (ODfL) in 1987 and subsequently deposited in the Mass Observation Archive. Pollen was interested in how 'amateur photography might be described, historicised and evaluated, both in the past and in the present'. But rather than approach the ODfL photographs as fixed in one point of time, and try to grasp what they might mean by interpreting the images, Pollen approached the photos as objects that are made and circulated and which accrue different meanings as they are used and reused. Drawing on Ariella Azoulay (2008), Pollen describes her approach as 'watching' photos as they are used and reused rather than simply fixating on the images and 'looking' at them.' (p. 110)
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUsing Photographs in Social and Historical Research
EditorsPenny Tinkler
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages5
ISBN (Print)9780857020369
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2013


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