Australian Visual Histories
Exploring how images have shaped our history
This project, led by Professor Jane Lydon, researches, digitises and shares Indigenous photographic archives with descendants in Aboriginal communities across Australia, providing a major Indigenous heritage resource. Aboriginal communities involved in this project have welcomed the research, which aims to re-connect families and communities in the wake of assimilation.
Through international collaborations with European institutions, the UWA-based Berndt Museum and a national network of Aboriginal communities, this project contributes to a shift towards decolonising Australian and international museum policies.
Partner investigators report that the project strengthens their relations with Indigenous communities and that it provides a model for repatriation that informs subsequent projects across the globe. Meanwhile, interest in their collections has significantly increased.
For more information about this project, visit the Returning Photos website or watch the video Calling the Shots: Aboriginal Photographies about the book which was edited by Professor Lyndon.
Understand how images shaped ideas, debates and attitudes in the past
Question how can we use images to write history
Return archival photos of Aboriginal people to relatives in the present
Historic photos reunited with Indigenous Australians
A small group is gathered around a photo book in the remote north of Western Australia, Kimberley locals, young and old, searching for familiar faces.Read more
Coming Home: A Story of Survival
Despite hardships endured, the Australian Aboriginal community remain one of the oldest surviving cultures on the planet.Read more
Help us explore how Australian visual culture shapes the present
We welcome contact from Aboriginal communities, cultural institutions and organisations that would like to collaborate in this research. Contact project lead, Professor Jane Lydon, using the details below.
Partners that we collaborate with include:
- Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Cambridge
- Pitt Rivers Museum, University of Oxford
- Musée du quai Branly (France)
- Nationaal Museum van Wereldculturen (Netherlands)
- Berndt Museum
- ‘Heritage in the limelight: the magic lantern in Australia and the world’
- ‘Australia and anti-slavery: humanitarianism and popular culture from 1890 to the present’
- ‘Recognising Aborigines: from objects of science to First Australians’
ARC Discovery, Queen Elizabeth II Fellowship
- ‘Globalization, Photography, and Race: the Circulation and Return of Aboriginal Photographs in Europe’
- ‘Aboriginal visual histories’
PhD research is needed to expand and develop research regarding all aspects of historical and present day visual culture.
To get involved, contact Professor Jane Lydon using the details below.
Contact Professor Jane Lydon
Get in touch+61 8 6488 2131
Send an email@example.com