Jitka Hanzlova untitled from Rokytnik

In the Face of History

Members only article

Photography, like history, involves a balancing act between objectivity and subjectivity. The historian collects his or her facts and then interprets them: the photographer selects one frame from a myriad possible, and presses the shutter to make an indelible record.

In previous times, we tended to believe in the essential objectivity of both pursuits. Now, after post-modernism, all we can be sure of is that photographers and historians – and anyone else with the ambition to explain the world – also bring themselves to bear, as individual subjects, on the objects of their scrutiny.

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Published in Photoworks Issue 7, 2006
Commissioned by Photoworks

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