What Do Photographs Show Us?

Culture and the arts is always an interesting combination. Specifically, photography has evolved along with the cultural and industrial changes of the last 150 years. What was once used as a personal or popular form of photography, has now become a historical documentation process, as mentioned in Liz Well’s Photography: A Critical Introduction, on page 56. How much can we learn from a photograph that we might not have learned had it been a painting or a book?

Using photography to look into the past can help communities learn their social and political history (p57). The context and aesthetics of the image can tell more than what is obvious. Community museums that hold photographs and other historic memorabilia are able to connect the content and gain a clearer representation of history. Can photography help communities learn from their past? Does the art of photography have a place in the local culture and can it be used to build upon the past and nurture the culture of the community for the future?

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