K.P. Jayasankar, ‘Still’, Our Family, 2007

Subversions | Vol 7 Issue 1. 2023

This issue of SubVersions brings together the work done by early career scholars exploring visual images and media narratives to understand how they are constructed in and through relationships of power and resistance. In teasing out the many complex layers and codes involved in image-making and representation, we hope this set of articles enables a critical engagement with contemporary visual culture.

The first two papers in this issue engage with the enduring gendered politics of who is allowed access to image-making. Drawing on the lived experiences of women who work as cinematographers and photojournalists, the papers situate these professions within a neoliberal landscape and underline the unspeakable inequalities that continue to define them. The paper that follows reflects on memories of the demolition of Babri Masjid through oral histories of women and reads this against popular media narratives to raise crucial questions of historiography. The politics of the image continues to be the central concern in the following paper, which examines the exclusionary nature of social media algorithms. The last three papers concern themselves with the politics of cinematic representation of marginalised identities. Employing textual analyses and reflection they critique the persistence of stereotypes and mark the act of representation as a constitutive.