I returned Sunday from the annual meeting of the European Association of Archaeologists in Istanbul. It was a fantastic conference–I learned a lot, met and spent time with colleagues from all over the world, and came away determined to try to attend more international conferences. My presentation on Friday could have been better, but I got some excellent feedback on it and know what to do differently next time.
I’m currently working on a presentation that I’ll be giving at the annual meeting of the European Association of Archaeologists in Istanbul in about a week and a half. It’s about visitor photography at heritage sites (with ‘heritage sites’ broadly defined to include sites of contested or ‘unauthorized’ heritage), and includes a discussion of museum and heritage site selfies, ruin porn photography, and general photography at archaeological or historical sites. My argument is that these types of visitor photography, though often viewed negatively by various sectors of the public, museologists, archaeologists, and other heritage professionals, can provide valuable insights into how people think about and interact with the heritage sites they visit. I credit two excellent blog posts (here and here) by historical archaeologist Paul Mullins for encouraging me to look at these issues more closely and from a different perspective.