Photography, care and the visual economy of Gambian transatlantic kinship relations

Kea, Pamela (2017) Photography, care and the visual economy of Gambian transatlantic kinship relations. Journal of Material Culture, 22 (1). pp. 51-71. ISSN 1359-1835

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This article examines transnational kinship relations between Gambian parents in the United Kingdom and their children and carers in The Gambia, with a focus on the production, exchange and reception of photographs. Many Gambian migrant parents in the U.K. take their children to The Gambia to be cared for by extended family members. Mirroring the mobility of Gambian migrants and their children, as they travel between the U.K. and The Gambia, photographs document changing family structures and relations. It is argued that domestic photography provides insight into the representational politics, values and aesthetics of Gambian transatlantic kinship relations. Further, the concept of the moral economy supports a hermeneutics of Gambian family photographic practice and develops our understanding of the visual economy of transnational kinship relations in a number of ways: it draws attention to the way in which the value attributed to a photograph is rooted in shared moral and cultural codes of care within transnational relations of inequality and power; it helps us to interpret Gambian’s responses to and treatment of family photographs; and it highlights the importance attributed to portrait photography and the staging, setting and aesthetics of photographic content within a Gambian imaginary.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > Anthropology
Depositing User: Sharon Krummel
Date Deposited: 14 Sep 2016 13:32
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2019 19:53

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Project NameSussex Project NumberFunderFunder Ref
Understanding the Impacts of Mobility on YouthG0381ROCKEFELLER FOUNDATION2008-SCR-114