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Shared travelling abroad – New Dynamics of Private Vacation Photography in Social Network Sites

Shared travelling abroad – New Dynamics of Private Vacation Photography in Social Network Sites (Carolin Anda)

The project deals with the analysis of vacation photography in social network sites, such as Facebook. It focuses on new dynamics of dealing with private photographs and its differences to former modes of representation.

With the emergence of Facebook and similar social network sites, modes of presentations of private images have been shifted to public, virtual platforms which enable easy digital archiving of personal footage. The interfaces of the sites facilitate to upload, share and comment on photographic pictures through a combination of social and visual practices. The hybridness of such networks transforms users into consumers and producers of private material and questions the function of photographs as carriers of personal memory.

The fluid dynamics between users demand a constant performance of intimacy, individuality and negotiation of social relationships. The emerging “digital archives of the self” evince economic structures through user activities such as links, “Likes”, commenting, sharing and image circulation. Private photographs are treated as social commodities and evidences of user activities.

The term flows is consulted to describe the social and technological dynamics of networked image circulation. The circulation of touristic images hints at the visualization of a “collective image memory”, which emerges through flows in social network sites and may evolve new photographic practices and image categories.