Open lecture | Damian Sutton


How do you look?

Photography, mobility and power

Damian Sutton | Professor of Photography Theory and Culture, School of Media and Performing Arts, Coventry University


15 de novembro, 18h-20h
Torre A , Auditório 001, NOVA FCSH


– When you walk through the city, how do you look?
– When you pass through the countryside, with friends or meeting locals, how do you look?
It’s difficult to imagine a world in which we are not constantly engaged in reflective looking. We look with desire, anger, compassion, and dread. We look with fascination, revulsion, and with boredom. But we are also aware of how we look, of how we see the world around us. We may even, in this world of Instagram, Pinterest, and Flickr, create the world before our eyes as a photograph waiting to be snapped and shared.
It will come as no surprise that the photographs we take and share of our observations of the city and our environment are shaped by our past experiences of visual culture. We seek out the pathos of the city or the idyllic charm of the country. We may stop and think, as tourists, of the way in which we recreate the visual experience we were sold when we picked up the travel brochure or booked our tickets. We may even expect to be guided, shepherded, or corralled in a progress of visual experiences, aware of the irony of our own reflexive consumption.
However, it may yet be shock to discover just how much tourism and mobility is intertwined in photographic history and culture, and how the Romantic legacy of a compassionate, humanist vision is one shaped by gender and class, from which it is difficult to truly escape.
This lecture is intended as a fast-moving, slingshot tale of photography’s relationship with modernity and mobility. It is intended to be though-provoking and eye-opening, and you may think twice when you hold your camera up to the world again.


Damian Sutton
Damian Sutton is Professor of Photography Theory and Culture at Coventry University, where he has been since 2016. He was previously at Middlesex University and The Glasgow School of Art. He has published widely on photography, cinema and film, with a particular focus on philosophy, and is the author of Photography, Cinema, Memory (2009) and co-author of Deleuze Reframed. His current focus is the portrait in photography and wider visual culture, from the perspective of film and philosophy, and with a particular focus on Kant, Deleuze, and the diagrammatic.


Moderação de Margarida Brito Alves e Margarida Medeiros
Organização: Bruno Marques (Grupo CASt – Photography and Film Studies, IHA/NOVA FCSH)


Website: Times and Movements of the Image | International Conference