About the conference

This two-day conference marks the end of the three year Nordic research project, Collecting Social Photography. The conference will focus on two key areas:

  1. The Collecting Social Photography project, its case studies and its recommendations
  2. The concept of social digital photography and the practical, ethical and political considerations for museums and archives in collecting it.

The conference will feature a host of international speakers and will also mark the official launch of the project publication and an open source web application: a tool designed to help with collecting social digital photography.

Lunch and refreshments will be provided over the two days. Dinner October 19 is optional.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The conference has been postponed until October 2020. Please check back for further information.


Program // Updated program will be posted in May 2020

Chair: Professor Haidy Geismar, Department of Anthropology, UCL, UK


Thursday March 19: 10.0017.00

10.00-10.30 Registration and coffee

10.30–11.00 Welcome and Introduction

11.00–12.00 Session 1: Defining The Social Digital photograph

a) Rethinking the Social Photograph in the age of digital interconnectivity, Anna Dahlgren, Professor, Department of Culture and Aesthetics, Stockholm University. Abstract and bio. 

b) Lived Mediation: Online Images as Shared Reality. Lisa Ehlin, Ph.D. Writer and lecturer. Abstract and bio

12.00 – 13.00 Keynote: #newselfwales – What does the face of New South Wales, Australia, really look like? Paula Bray, DX Lab Leader, State Library of New South Wales.  Abstract and bio.

13.00–14.00 Lunch

14.00–15.00 Session 2: Collecting Tools – A prototype web app – session chair: Bente Jensen
a) Developing a prototype for Collecting Social Digital Photography, Micah Walter, Micah Walter Studio, New York and Kajsa Hartig Abstract and bio, Project Manager, CoSoPho Team, Nordiska museet

b) Digital Collecting Across Cultures: Haidy Geismar, Professor, Department  of Anthropology, University College London Abstract and bio

c)  Lacking in context or widening access: Experiments with AI in cataloguing the Collecting Social Photo images: Arran Rees, Doctoral Researcher, University of Leeds, UK Abstract and bio

15.00–15.30 Coffee break

15.30–17.00 Collecting Social Photo Case studies. Places, Practices and Events. Elisabeth Boogh Abstract and bio, Bente Jensen – Abstract and bio and Anni Wallenius Abstract and bio.

18,30 Conference dinner, optional 

Friday March 20: 09.3015.45

9.30–10.15 Keynote. Professor Risto Sarvas, Aalto University, Finland Abstract and Bio

Session 3: Ethics and politics of social media 

a) Images becoming documents: Tracing the Uses of Visual Technologies in Finnish Passports. 
Asko Lehmuskallio, Associate Professor at New Social Research, Tampere University, Finland Abstract and Bio

b) ”It’s all about the white woman.” The politics of representation in digital visual heritage. Paula Uimonen, Associate Professor, Department of Social Anthropology, Stockholm University, Sweden Abstract and Bio

11.10–11.30 Coffee

11.30–12.15 Social Media: Archiving & Preservation: Legal and Ethical Implications for Collecting Institutions. Sara Day Thomson, Research Officer for Digital Preservation Coalition, UK. Abstract and bio

12.15–13.15 Lunch

13.15-14.45 Session 4: Collecting – the true story – Session chair: Arran Rees
a) Collecting and Displaying Social Media in Museum Collections: The Museum of London experience. Foteini Aravani, Digital Curator, Museum of London, UK. Abstract and Bio

b) Why should social media be incorporated into the museum’s collections? Chris Cooper, Senior Curator contemporary conflict, Imperial War Museum, UK. Abstract and Bio

c) The Social Media Project in the National Archives. Arrangements, objections, obstacles. Erik Aaberg, senior adviser, National Archives of Norway. Abstract and bio

d) Your Tāmaki Makaurau: Collecting selfies from Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand. Shaun Higgins, Curator Pictorial, Auckland War Memorial Museum | Tāmaki Paenga Hira, New Zealand. Abstract and bio

14.45–15.15 Coffee break

15.15–15.45 Recommendations for Collecting Social Digital Photography. Elisabeth Boogh, Kajsa Hartig, Bente Jensen, Arran Rees and Anni Wallenius.

15.45–16.00 Closing words