‘Photography and its Implications: TEN.8 Photographic Magazine and the politics of representation in practice’

5 – 7 December, 2014
International Conference of Photography and Theory

Conference presentation

TEN.8 Photography Magazine (1979 – c. 1993) was generated by an interest shared amongst a group that included photographers but also community activists, journalists and academics, in publishing photography and engaging with its associated debates. That the first editorial suggests these individuals held disparate opinions as to the agenda of the magazine is representative of the ways in which the field of photography was contested across various social, cultural and political spheres during that period. Attempting to recognise the divergent positions of the individuals who had purchase on TEN.8, as well as the position that the organisation occupied between the independent and education sectors, this paper rereads the periodical as a site of struggle; one that attempted to reconcile practice with theoretical insight in order to invest in photography as a social and political tool in the context of those decades. This paper thus attends to the politics of representation as it becomes legible through TEN.8’s commitment to both “pictures and ideas”, at one intersection between practice and theory in the recent histories of British photography.

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