The Elephant in the Room: Using Photography to Research the Domestic Everyday: International Conference of Photography and Theory

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

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This is an account of ongoing research using photography to examine and represent the work of ‘the second shift’ - the routine domestic practices of housework and care traditionally carried out by women outside their paid employment. Hidden in plain sight and veiled by familiarity and insignificance, housework is largely absent from photographs of home and family. How might photography help reveal the ingenuity and emotional affect concealed within ‘women’s work’? This paper considers the ways photographic directives could facilitate a more detailed understanding of these apparently simple domestic tasks. I suggest that photography’s indexicality and ordinariness, crossing boundaries between art and everyday life, make it an effective tool for this study of busy working mothers.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 3 Dec 2016



  • Everyday Life
  • quotidian
  • photography
  • Motherhood
  • Fieldwork

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