Call for articles & projects: Instinct
Membrana no. 6 seeks to address the representations of animals in diverse photographic practices throughout history. We are interested in how and why does the notion of being human revolve around our image of what it means to be an animal – and how this is “image” constructed through photography. We aim to highlight and untangle the human-animal relation and the way it is ideologically enforced or subdued. Throughout the history of media, animals always held a significant presence, not only in numbers (think of animal imagery on contemporary social networks) but of a particular fascination, particular magic we ascribe to them and their representations. There is a strange spiritual quality with which these images seem to be charged. The representations of animals were and are used as an emblem of power and social status (colonial power, class differences, trophy images, status symbols). They are used as a repose for our gaze, captivating it momentarily or even releasing it from the image of the overburdened nature of contemporaneity (cuteness and humour) holding it in suspense and unbelief (wildness, animosity, even familiar “human” tenderness). And while captivating our sight, animals even look back at us as if questioning our very notion of humanity. Whether used as commodities for exchange, marketing tools for commodification, tools of scientific research or tokens of domestic familiarity, silent trophies from exotic places or city zoos, the images speak of a certain process of domestication of both a sign and a referent. The images of pets and the way we use them differ cross-culturally and across time alter even the notion of family. There seems to be a shift from the old photo-humanistic belongingness of The Family of Man to the growing disillusionment of Anthropocene, where a certain demand for a new kind of responsibility, a new kind of belongingness arises. Trans-cultural as well as trans-species. Mythological creatures of old seem to foreshadow this sentiment as a primal, instinctual connectedness. Different historical trans-species collages, meticulous photographic renderings creating a world of imagined beings – creatures, beasts and humans combined speak of a complex and contested photo animalistic history.
We invite textual and visual contributions that explore photographic representations of animals from (but not limited to) the following perspectives:
- contemporary and historical representations (shifting representational paradigms)
- scientific photographic representation of animals (Crittercams, photo-traps, etc.)
- social media and animal representation
- domestic / wild animal representation
- camptrail cameras (trailcams)
- fine art animal photos
- nature documentary, safari photos, hunting and photography
- photographing dead animals
- taxidermy as a proto-photographic practice
- new phenomena of self-made animal images
- animals ascribed human characteristics and vice versa
- representation of subcultures using animals and questions of identity (e.g. furries)
- hybrids, fantastic creatures and its ideological applications
- using animals as (luxuries) accessories
- animals as a contemporary totems and their cultural diversity
Format of contributions
- Essays, theoretical papers, overview articles, interviews (approx. 14.000 characters with spaces), visuals encouraged.
- Short essays, columns (approx. 6.000 characters with spaces), visuals encouraged.
- Photographic projects and artwork: proposals for non-commissioned work or samples of work.
Contributions will be published in the English edition – magazine Membrana (ISSN 2463-8501) as well as in the Slovenian edition – magazine Fotografija (ISSN 1408-3566).
Proposals and deadlines
Please contact the editors at editors(at)membrana.si. The deadline for contribution proposals (150-word abstracts and/or visuals) is 7.1.2019. The deadline for finished contributions from accepted proposals is 20 March 2019. Please send proposals or contact the editors at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Membrana is a contemporary photography magazine dedicated to promoting a profound and theoretically grounded understanding of photography. Its aim is to encourage new, bold, and alternative conceptions of photography as well as new and bold approaches to photography in general. Positioning itself in the space between scholarly magazines and popular publications, it offers an open forum for critical reflection on the medium, presenting both analytical texts and quality visuals. The magazine is published bi-annually in the summer and winter in the English language and in Slovenian under the title Fotografija by the Slovene non-profit institute Membrana.
More about the third edition can be found HERE
CFP in Pdf format: CFP in PDF
Membrana, Maurerjeva 8, SI-1000, Ljubljana, Slovenia.
editors(at)membrana.si / mail(at)membrana.org
Dostopno tudi v: Ang