Visual Ethnography and Photo (Art) Projects

This page is continually updated and provides a summary of past and present visual projects (2012-today)

2012-ongoing: Resistance is natural – a posthumanist photo project (various places in Europe)

More information to come

2019-2020: Research-Art Project(s)

In recent years, I combine my research interests with creative expressions that allow me to channel ideas, messages and experiences in new ways.

Click the images below for examples.

Dissertation cover image - Child (Bio)Welfare and Beyond: Intersecting Injustices in Childhoods and Swedish Child Welfare - research-artwork by Zlatana Knezevic
Research-Art: “Dissertation Cover”

Ideals academia-art project and photo by Zlatana Knezevic
Academia-Art: “Ideals”

copyright 2019-2020 Zlatana Knezevic #makealivingwriting recycled research
Recycled Research Arts and Crafts Project

2020: Karantäntider (Lockdown Times) (Photo Project)

Fotografierna nedan är tagna ur en större samling och fotoprojekt från 2020, “Karantäntider”, ett delprojekt inom ramen för kursen “Konsten i Samhället”, vid Folkhögskolan Angered. Fotografierna avbildar platser, miljöer och stämningar i Malmö och i ett fåtal undantagsfall även andra skånska orter under pandemin (Covid-19). Jag ville fånga den pågående diskussioner om smittorisker och självisolering men också den påtagliga känslan av människors frånvaro och avstånd. Därför är vissa bilder tagna genom olika barriärer för interaktion: glasväggar, balkongräcken m.m. Vissa av bilderna, om än tagna på avstånd, visar människor som mer eller mindre lever som vanligt: cyklar, joggar, promenerar. Likande tankegångar gör sig mer framträdande i bilderna som illustrerar människor som på olika sätt befinner sig innanför boxen – i karantän – men det är oklart om de rör sig mot dagsljuset eller är på väg att försvinna. 

The photographs below are taken from a larger photo collection, “Karantäntider” (“Lockdown Times”), one of my projects in 2020 within the course “Art in Society”, at Folkhögskolan Angered, Sweden. The photographs depict places, environments and moods in Malmö and, in a few cases, also other places in Scania during the covid-19 pandemic. I wanted to capture the ongoing discussions about contagion risks and self-quarantine but also the experience of people’s absence, and distance. Thus, some images are taken through different barriers to interaction: glass walls, balcony railings, etc. Some of the pictures, albeit taken from a distance, show people who live more or less as usual: cycling, jogging, walking. Similar ideas are more prominent in the pictures that illustrate people who in different ways are inside the box – in quarantine – but it is unclear whether they are moving towards daylight or are about to disappear.

Reflektioner av Nobelvägen (Reflections of Nobelvägen)
Balkong (är) livet Balcony (is) life
Inramad: Att fortgå eller försvinna? Boxed-in: Going on or disappearing?
Kika in och ut #1 Looking in and out #1
Var är barnen? Where are the children?

2010-2018 social moWEments

social moWEments is a collection of photographs taken between 2010 and 2018 and mainly in Sweden that captures the “We” of movements, that is, movements as collectives of belonging. It all started when I was abroad as a student. I was in a crowded capital and although I was not alone, I felt lonely and as if I did not belong to anything. One day, as I was strolling around, I found a crowd “within the crowd”, a group of people demonstrating for a cause. Even though I was not part of the group, I supported the cause and considered myself being a part of the movement. The feeling of belonging was taken to another level when we walked together, side by side. This is how I became interested in visual portrayals of movements and how the “we” is performed, how movements move from walks in the streets onto the built environment and the banners, from one city to another, across countries. Movements can also be still, as in sitting protests. They over time can also “move” into dissolution of groups and members.

2013 Space-Time Imaginaries in Reactionary Community Creations: Gentrification Resistance in the Area of Køpi in Berlin

When I was studying in the humanities at Utrecht University (08/2010–02/2011), I became interested in integrating sound and vision into my studies. In the following years, I started to take this interest more seriously. In 2013, I attended the course The City – Boundary Transgressions and Visual Expressions at Lund University. Together with two classmates, I conducted visual ethnography on gentrification in the city of Berlin, more specifically in Kreuzberg and the Køpi area. We explored the visual expressions of anti-gentrification politics. 

visual ethnography project berlin copyright 2013 Zlatana Knezevic
“WIR” interpellates the German-speaking population and people who have been in HIER” long “enough” to claim the space.
The banner above, is a message that not only is put across in German language but also is on several levels linked to time. It is one of the most explicit messages where a self-definition of the squatters occurs and where a collectivist We-identity is staged. It reveals that the protesting “WIR” [we], as in Benedict Anderson’s notion of “imagined communities”, relies on the idea of a shared history (“HIER SIND WIR GROSS GEWORDEN”). In this case, it is marking the territory as one where “WIR” have grown up in. 
However, the nostalgic account also is reclaiming the future of the place (…) (“HIER WOLLEN WIR ALT WERDEN”). The message relies on fixity and resists change in terms restricting the Others non-belonging to the We-collective to access, change or invade the space…” (excerpt from an unpublished paper by Hoyvík, Knezevic and Vinogradova, 2013)
visual ethnography project berlin copyright 2013 Zlatana Knezevic
Green anarchism? Protection from outsiders looking in? Or a glorification of unruliness (wilderness) as opposed to modernity, capitalism and progress…?

2012-2013 Visual Ethnography: Military Training

Writing in progress.

In 2012/2013, I did a visual documentation of a preparatory military training in a Swedish town. I was allowed to participate due to my interest in using this experience for future research projects. The Swedish Armed Forces were open to my initiative and gave me the opportunity to run a blog on their website where I could document the training on a daily basis, for three months. I am currently writing an article on the relationship between the virtual-visual -sound. Below, I give some examples, mainly carefully picked images that do not reveal the identity of the participants.  

I wanted to go beyond the mainstream representations of the military. Also interesting was the spirit of community and belonging; how the military students cared for each other.

The military changed my views on hierarchies. Formal hierarchies suddenly made perfect sense, or at least there was a logic and function to them, unlike many other settings with a similar hierarchical organisation.    

I participated as everyone else, but was the only one with the permission to use a camera. I soon got the nickname “paparazzi” because of this role. 

I conducted several interviews with the students and the employees, and took thousands of images. In the article that I am currently writing, I discuss how a multi-sensory approach made me rethink my visual methods and that I had seen what I needed to see to get a grasp of a military training and the military from within.