New Documentary Strategies


Documentary photography, deemed dead and buried by postmodernism, which mocked the possibility of representing that which is real, and placed in crisis due to the growing spectacularisation of reality, has come back to the fore in various stages over recent decades.

There is an inescapable need in the individual: that of learning and sharing forms of knowledge. This need satisfies the individual, who aspires to have a critical and active role in democratic life.

But the photographer, also thanks to the debate which has accompanied the crisis of modernism, is aware that knowledge of a specific reality has become a complex affair, that an infinite number of images have already been produced to portray every possible subject, and that the tools used to represent of reality are inevitably limited.

Therefore, the photographer cannot but deploy strategies that bear such limits in mind, activate mental processes and unveil the cultural codes of the image and, in contrast with the loss of reality fostered by the media, in the words of John Berger, “incorporate photography into social and political memory.”

William Guerrieri