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Read more about the Photography and Migration Project!


Tanya Sheehan, ed., Photography and Migration (London: Routledge, 2018). Written in the context of unprecedented dislocation and a global refugee crisis, this edited volume thinks through photography’s long and complex relationship to human migration.

While contemporary media images largely frame migration in terms of trauma, victimhood, and pity, so much more can be said of photography’s role in the movement of people around the world. Cameras can document, enable, or control human movement across geographical, cultural, and political divides. Their operators put faces on forced and voluntary migrations, making visible hardships and suffering as well as opportunity and optimism. Photographers include migrating subjects who take pictures for their own consumption, not for international recognition. And photographs themselves migrate with their makers, subjects, and viewers, as the very concept of photography takes on new functions and meanings.

Photography and Migration places into conversation media images and other photographs that the contributors have witnessed, collected, or created through their diverse national, regional, and local contexts. Developed across thirteen chapters, this conversation encompasses images, histories, and testimonies offering analysis of new perspectives on photography and migration today.

Photography and Migration, a series of essays by Tanya Sheehan published by Fotomuseum Winterthur’s Still Searching blog, March-April 2017

The photographic medium has played an important role in the movement of people, objects, identities, and ideas across time and space, especially in the human crossing of geographical and cultural borders. Scholars have shown how cameras documented, enabled, or controlled such forced or voluntary movements, while photographers have attempted to put a face on immigration around the world, making visible its associations with transition, displacement, hardship, and opportunity. In this blog series, Tanya Sheehan reflects on the relationship between photography and migration in the twenty-first century by considering photographs in the global migration crisis as well as within her own local, community interventions. Framing her discussion are keywords in photography and migration studies: diaspora, refugee, (im)mobility, and border.


Gerry Boyle interviews Tanya SheehanColby Magazine, Fall 2018

Photography and Migration Project Community Event SetMorning Sentinel, April 6, 2017

Colby College Student Showcases Antique Photos of Local FamiliesMorning Sentinel, March 4, 2017

Photography Conference a “Migration” to Mayflower Hill,, April 29, 2015

A History Project with Modern ConnectionsPortland Press Herald, April 25, 2015