Photography, war and cultural heritage
Costanza Caraffa, Ute Dercks, Almut Goldhahn
Against the backdrop of increasing globalisation and new conflicts in the 21st century, questions pertaining to cultural heritage are receiving ever greater academic attention. In this context, the holdings of photographic archives represent important primary sources.
At the latest since the First World War we have seen a veritable medialisation of war, as part of which documentary photography has been systematically used as a means of political propaganda. In the context of the struggle for hegemony, images of endangered or even destroyed artworks point to the concrete threat to cultural heritage. This latter had already played an important role as the vehicle of a sense of identity during the processes of nation-building in the 19th century. The development and visual definition of each respective cultural canon was thereby profoundly aided by photography. The medium, at that time still young, was deliberately employed to document the cultural heritage of the individual nations in its multiple facets. These photographic images have meanwhile themselves become part of our cultural heritage today.
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Costanza Caraffa / Almut Goldhahn: Zwischen 'Kunstschutz' und Kulturpropaganda. Ludwig Heinrich Heydenreich und das Kunsthistorische Institut in Florenz 1943–1945
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