Lecture: Constance Stuart’s War: Women and Documentary’s Excess

Professor Tamar Garb

Durning-Lawrence Chair of History of Art
Department of History of Art,

University College London (UCL)

London, 1 March 2017, 5:30 pm

Warburg Institute
Woburn Square
London WC1H 0AB

Admission free; please register for this event through the Events section of the School of Advanced Study (SAS) here.

This lecture looks at a remarkable photograph taken by the South African war correspondent in WW2, Constance Stuart (Larrabee) at the moment of the liberation of France. The photograph, one of nine in a series, depicts one of the femmes tondues the sheared women collectively punished for having ‘associated with the Germans’. It is read in relation to other photographs in the series as well as the agenda of Libertas, the first picture magazine in South Africa, for whom Stuart worked. But there is more to Stuart’s relationship to the image than the need to document the occasion. What seeps out from the image is something that exceeds documentary’s desire, inadvertently articulating both the photographer’s and the protagonist’s position in history.


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