Family archive - the relationship between photography and memory, 2015

Free time, 1954, Pakrac

CIMO - Center for Research of  Fashion and Clothing  in the Family Archives project focuses on the analysis and interpretation of family photographs with the aim of creating a hybrid intermedia archive.

''Isn't history just a time when we weren't born yet? I read my non-existence in the clothes my mother wore before I remember her. There is a kind of astonishment in the act of seeing a close person dressed completely differently. '' [1] R. Barthes contemplates family photographs by becoming aware of multiple diachronic photographic views of the mother's figure. Marianne Hirsch concludes that the image of the mother exists only thanks to the words he uses to describe the photographs and his own reactions. In this way, the image is translated into the so-called. a prose image or "image text" as defined by W.J.T. Mitchell. [2] As part of family life, the photographic camera articulates family life through a series of snapshots that capture fragments of family history and thus construct and then represent family life. The family album becomes the basis for analyzing and understanding the family “image text”. Since family "photography exists at the crossroads of personal memory, social history, public myth, and our own unconscious, our memories are not entirely ours, nor are photographs a credible representation of our history." [3] Keeping in mind the gap between documentary and fictional in family photography, we call for recording and interpreting the correlation of visual material, family stories, and personal memories.


[1] Marianne Hirsch, Family frames: photography, narrative and postmemory (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1997) 1.

[2] Hirsch, Family frames, 3.

[3] Hirsch, Family frames, 14.


Project leader: Lea Vene

* the project is supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia and the City Office for Culture, Education and Sports of the City of Zagreb, for 2015.

* Copyright © cimo - a center for research of fashion and clothing. All rights reserved.

* Photos: private archives t.v.