The Hasselblad Foundation hosts and co-hosts both smaller research presentations and larger symposia each year, often in collaboration with the Valand Academy, University of Gothenburg. Since 2014 the foundation and the university have co-published the book series Negative, with collected presentations from several of the symposia. Researchers, theorists and artists that have participated in the symposia include Subhankar Banerjee, Geoffrey Batchen, Broomberg & Chanarin, Mathias Danbolt, Leslie Hewitt, Sarah Kember, Liz Wells and Zanele Muholi. Participants in the recent symposium on surveillance, organized in relation to the WATCHED!-project, included Susan Schuppli, Marco Poloni and Peter Weibel.



Upcoming symposium


Welcome to the International Photography Research Symposium

Experiments and Social Change:

Writing the History of Interwar Photography



Photography at the Threshold: Experiments and Social Change unites researchers, artists and writers from an interdisciplinary field of photography and cultural studies with a particular focus on the 1920s and 30s. The symposium probes ways of researching, writing and doing photo history and a further aim is to reflect on parallels between the Interwar period and the present. Among the topics discussed will be montage, (anti-)fascism, eugenics and photography, gender rights and representation, aerial photography, militarism, commercialism and modernism.




Time: 9.00–18:00, November 21, 2017


Venue: Valand Academy, Aula


A collaboration between The Hasselblad Foundation and Valand Academy, Gothenburg University. The symposium is free and open to all.







9:00 Moderators Louise Wolthers, Hasselblad Foundation and Niclas Östlind, Valand Academy
Welcome and short introduction


9:15 Mats Jansson, Professor, Literature, History of Ideas and Religion, Gothenburg University

The concept of modernism – uses, meanings and a brief look at literature and photography


9:45 Sabine T. Kriebel, Lecturer, History of Art, University Collage, Cork

Passing Through: Three Women Abduct the Face of Weimar Photography


10:45 Coffee break


11:00 Anna Dahlgren, Professor, Art History, Stockholm University

Commercial realism. Photography and the Visual Mechanics of Selling 


11:30 Susanne Kriemann, Artist, Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design, Germany, Berlin/Karlsruhe

One Time One Million – a contemporary perspective on researching, rewriting and reusing history and its analogue photographic techniques


12:00 Mhairi Sutherland, Artist and Researcher, Derry/Londonderry

Going Underground: Negotiation and Transgression in the photographic archives of SAAB Defence and Security.


12:30 Lunch break


13:30 Maja Hagerman,Writer and Historian & Claes Gabrielson, Photographer

The gaze of the racial biologist 


14.30 Niclas Östlind, Curator, Researcher and Senior Lecturer, Valand Academy, Gothenburg University

A portrait of Swedes in their daily life and work by the photographer C. G. Rosenberg – seen in the light of a darkening horizon in a troubled Europe in the Mid-1930s. 



15:00 Coffee break


15:15 Katarina Leppänen, Senior Lecturer, Literature, History of Ideas and Religion, Gothenburg University

Visibility and representation in the women’s movement during the interwar years


15:45 Eva Dahlman, Photo Historian and Researcher

”Where are the women?” Searching for women at the photographic scene in the interwar period. 


16:15 Coffee break


16:30 Louise Wolthers, Researcher and Curator, Hasselblad Foundation

The View from Above: Scientific images at the International Photography Exhibition in Gothenburg 1929


17:00 Andréas Hagström, Gothenburg Konsthall

Young Hamburger Art (1931) – How the photographic art was perceived in the first known exhibition in Gothenburg with paintings, sculpture and photography.


17:30 Moderators closing remarks






Previous symposium 

Photography in Print & Circulation

Part II: The Writing of History





Thursday, 28 September, 1 pm

Valand Academy


The book is an integrated and important part of photography, and the interest in the history of the photo book is an expanding field. It started in early 2000 with Andrew Roth’s Book of 101 Books: Seminal Photographic Books in the Twenties Century (2001), and the exhibition and publication Open Book at the Hasselblad Centre (2004). Martin Parr and Garry Badger have made groundbreaking contributions with their series History of the Photo Book, Volume I, II and III (published 2004–2014). They have been followed by a number of books and exhibitions focusing on national histories of the photo book.


Now it is time to look critically on the histories that have been produced during the last decade. What perspectives have guided the histories? How have they been mediated and – most importantly – what is still to be done? The symposium will address these important questions.


The symposium is part of Photography in Print & Circulation, a joint research project between the Hasselblad Foundation and Valand Academy.




13.00–13.30 Niclas Östlind The History of the Photo Book


13.30–14.15 Frits Giertberg The Dutch Photobook


14.45–15.30 Angel Luis Gonzalez  The Irish Photobook


15.30–16.00 Irene de Mendoza The Spanish Photobook


16.15–16.30 Evita Goze – The Latvian Photobook


16.45–17.15 Panel debate


18.30 – 19.00 Bernadette Wolbring  Square pegs and round holes and a book signing.


19.15 – 19.30 Åke E:son Lindman EXPERIMENT Åke E:son Lindman


19.30 – til late Opening of the festival including a release of Fotografisk Tidskrift!



Photography in Print and Circulation is a symposium addressing the critical and creative use of photography’s reproducibility. Easier than most other visual media, photography can be multiplied, appropriated, printed and distributed. The symposium will focus on the current and expanded field of photo books. The book is one of photography’s most important formats for going public, and the contemporary photo book culture has developed different modes of – and strategies for – editing, publishing, financing and distributing. The emphasis will be on networks for production and sharing, curatorial perspectives, and the experimental use of books as alternative space for mediating photographic images.


Printed matter is one of many possible forms of distribution. Still and moving images are constantly produced, shared, and sampled through mobile phone cameras and the Internet. The digital technology has changed the parameters for the use and understanding of photography. The symposium will also discuss the changing practises in art and news media, as well as the curatorial take on mediating and exhibiting on-line material and other digitally circulated photographic images.


The speakers are artists, publishers, curators, and scholars and they are invited to talk about their practises, and to reflect on how the artistic and critical possibilities of printed, re-used and circulated photography can be defined and developed.






You can watch parts of the symposium live on Facebook Live via Akademin Valand´s
and Hasselblad Foundation´s Facebook pages.




Thursday 17 November

Venue: Valand Academy, The Glass House, Chalmersgatan 4, Gothenburg


9:30–10:00 Coffee


10.00–10.40 Niclas Östlind: Photography in Print & Circulation: A Historical Survey


10.50–11.30 Lars Willumeit: Reassembly, Reaggregation and CirculationNotes on Dealing with the (Un)becomings of Photography


11.30–12.00 Art & Theory: Release: The Negative Book Series


Lunch break


13.30–14.20 Eva Weinmayr: Library Underground — a reading list for a coming community


14.30–15.10 Cecilia Grönberg: Photography as publishing and distribution




15.40-16.30 Charlotte Cotton: Platform Sensitive


16.45–17.45 Lotta Antonsson in Conversation with Charlotte Cotton and Niclas Östlind/Louise Wolthers




Friday 18 November


10.00–10.30 Louise Wolthers: Multiveillance and the Networked Image


10.40–11.10 Mike Bode: Verification processes and the ecology of user generated imagery.




11.30–12.10 Linn Prøitz: “– It was instant … this is ultimately what is at stake, a child has died: What is simpler than that really?”: The impact of the rapid global circulation of the image of Alan Kurdi.


Lunch break


13.20–14.00 Mette Sandbye: Kent Klich and the Gaza conflict: A multifaceted photographic encirclement of a place and a political conflict


14.10–14.40 Sarah Tuck: Evidence and Spectacle – Watching Murder Online





15.00–16.00 Closing discussion: The Possibilities and Challenges of Printed and Circulated Photography.*

You can email questions to the panel in advance via: es.ug1537436155.dnal1537436155avnim1537436155edaka1537436155@nesn1537436155ej.na1537436155fets1537436155

*Alfredo Jaar is unfortunately no longer able to participate in the symposium due to illness.



Previous symposium

WATCHED! Symposium  – October 7-8

The symposium is co-organized by Valand Academy of Arts and the Hasselblad Foundation. It is a part of the project WATCHED! Surveillance, Art and Photography in Europe Post 9/11, which will result in an exhibition at the Hasselblad Center and a forthcoming book in spring 2016.




An international 2-day research symposium in Gothenburg, organised by The Hasselblad Foundation and Valand Academy.

Venue: ‘The Glass House’, Valand Art Academy, Vasagatan 50

Please note change in program


October 7 / Day 1

Venue: ‘The Glass House’, Valand Academy, Vasagatan 50


9:00 – registration and coffee


9.30 – 10.00 Welcome and introduction by Louise Wolthers and Niclas Östlind


10.00 – 11.00 Peter Weibel, Professor (ZKM, DE), “Epistemic Photography. From Observation to Surveillance” Read more about Peter Weibel


11.15 – 12.00 Artist talk: Alberto Frigo (Södertörn University, SE/IT), “Becoming Data: Artists Beyond the Sousveillance Paradigm” Read more about Alberto Frigo


12.00 – 13.30 Lunch break


13.30 – 14.30 Susanne Wigorts Yngvesson, Ass. Professor (Stockholm School of Theology, SE)“Mirror, mirror on the Wall” – Selfimages and Objectification Read more about Susanne Wigorts Yngvesson




15.00-15:45 Artist talk: Ann-Sofi Sidén (SE) in conversation with Niclas Östlind

Read more about Ann-Sofi Sidén


Closing of Day 1 – short discussion led by Louise Wolthers and Niclas Östlind.


October 8/ Day 2

Venue: ‘The Glass House’, Valand Academy, Vasagatan 50


9.15 – 10.00 Artist talk: Meriç Algün Ringborg (SE/TR) in conversation with Louise Wolthers

Read more about Meriç Algün Ringborg




10.30 – 11.15 Artist talk: Susan Schuppli, senior lecturer (Goldsmiths University, UK), “Material Witness / How Evidence comes to Matter” Read more about Susan Schuppli


11.15-12.00 Artist talk: Jason E. Bowman, senior lecturer (Gothenburg University, SE/UK), “Scavenging Surveillance” Read more about Jason E. Bowman


12.00-13.30 Lunch break


13.30 – 14.15 Artist talk: Marco Poloni (DE), “A Porous Narrative” Read more about Marco Poloni




14.30 – 15.30 Hille Koskela, Professor (University of Turku, FIN), “Surveillance Plays and Games”

Read more about Hille Koskela


Closing remarks and final discussion led by Louise Wolthers and Niclas Östlind.



Research in progress

Research in progress

Previous Projects

Previous Projects