LECTURE; Photography and Visual Methods
Gülbin Özdamar Akarçay, received B.A. and M.Sc. in Journalism from Anadolu University. Her B.A. graduation project titled “Faces of Prisoners” which was exhibited in IFSAK İstanbul Photography Days 2002. She studied in The Academy of Performing Arts, Film and TV School Department of Still Photography for a year in 2006. She was the curator of Intimate Revolt exhibition took place in Czech Republic, Lithuania, Slovenia and Turkey consisting 10 photographers from 10 countries. She opened “Faces of Prisoners”, “Narodni Divadlo”, “Children of Maticni” as her personal exhibitions and participated in group exhibitons “66-II”, “Spirit Of Prague”, “Six Czech School Photography”. She was the producer of “Merter Oral’ın Ardından” and “EFSAD 15. Yıl” documentaries and published a photography newspaper in Eskişehir Photography Week. She was selected World Press Photo (WPPH) Seminar organized in Turkey in 2002-2004. Her photo-story “Children of Maticni” was published in WPPH and Photojournale Connections Across A Human Planet. She writes in Fotografya. Her article titled “Savaşa Tanıklık: Savaş Ortamlarında Fotomuhabiri Olmak” (Witness of War: Being a Photojournalist in War) was published in a edited book, Uygun Adım Medya. She received Ph.D. with a dissertation title “An Ethnograpy Study fır Etnographers and Photographers: Photo-Ethnography of Hacı Bektaş Veli Festival” in Journalism from Graduate School of Social Sciences, Anadolu University.
Photography and Visual Methods: An Ethnography Study for Ethnographers and Photographers
The Photography has been used as research subject in different fields of social sciences. Especially anthropology, sociology and ethnography that is a research method have been made use of photograph as a data. Based on this idea, it should be emphasized that how a photographer and an ethnographer, within the relation of ethnography and photography, uses photography as a data in social science researches and which method is used in taking ethnographic photography is for the research have been reviewed in order to compose a theoretical background. In doctoral dissertation I made, Ethnography and photography relation is clarified in various examples and visual ethnography, photo-ethnography and ethnographic photography is defined. In the fieldwork, participants consisting of ethnographers and photographers are provided to make a photo-ethnography research in Hacı Bektaş Veli Festival organized annually by Alevis. Researcher has done an ethnographic research as well on ethnographers and photographers by observing them in the field. Thus, ethnography of ethnography is done by participants, similarities and differences between an ethnographer and a photographer is determined coming from two different social sciences discipline. In the analysis, commonalities and differences have been found in ethnographers’ and photographers’ occupational practices. Occupational, gender, ideological and religious identities have affected their point of view and this has been reflected in the field. The value of photographic data in social sciences has been revealed and methods have been discussed developed by the participants in the field as well. Photographs taken by the participants have been also analyzed. The importance of trivet consisting of process of taking photography, photography itself and interpretation of the viewer has been emphasized once again. Participants’ different academic backgrounds, identities, their understanding of ethnography and photography, their thoughts about the field reflected all in the photographs that they took. In the light of the data gathered by the participants, photographs as visual texts are ethnographic data and they should be used in all social sciences disciplines. The point is how photography will be defined in a research design, either as a visual diary or a visual record. In this research, photography is defined as a visual diary and reflexivity has come into prominence.
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