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The Contract-labour Photographs of Gunnar Lundh: A Media History Study of a Photo Archive in Motion
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Ethnology, History of Religions and Gender Studies.
2020 (English)In: Culture Unbound. Journal of Current Cultural Research, ISSN 2000-1525, E-ISSN 2000-1525, Vol. 12, no 1, p. 36-64Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The focus of this article is the work of photographer Gunnar Lundh, specifically the works collectively known as the statare photographs, images of rural contract labourers (or statare) that form part of a collection donated to the Nordic Museum in 1961. An overview of how these photographs have circulated in the Swedish public sphere indicates that three areas are particularly suitable for a targeted study of their use and reuse: i) social reportage, aimed at the miserable conditions facing these agricultural labourers in the emerging welfare state; ii) a biographical theme, in which the contract-labour photographs are part of a historical layer that repeatedly connects the author and opinion former Ivar Lo-Johansson with the ‘contract-labour photographer’ Lundh; and iii) how the older images remain a relevant element of a contemporary material cultural-heritage creation. In all of these examples, Lundh’s contract-labour photographs function as visual models through which it becomes possible to represent the contract labourers’ historical reality in books, buildings and interiors. However, they also constitute important components in the creation and perpetuation of what this article highlights as a distinctive set of intra-referential memory.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2020. Vol. 12, no 1, p. 36-64
Keywords [en]
Photography, Archive, Media history, Intra-referential memory, Contract-labour, Gunnar Lundh, Ivar Lo-Johansson
National Category
Ethnology
Research subject
Ethnology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-184827DOI: 10.3384/cu.2000.1525.2020v12a04OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-184827DiVA, id: diva2:1464956
Available from: 2020-09-08 Created: 2020-09-08 Last updated: 2022-02-25Bibliographically approved

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Bäckman, Maria

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CiteExportLink to record
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