International Journal of Education & the Arts

Volume 15 Number 9

September 8, 2014

Thinking Through the Photographic Encounter:
Engaging with the Camera as Nomadic Weapon

Cala Coats
Stephen F. Austin State University, USA

Citation: Coats, C. (2014). Thinking through the photographic encounter: Engaging with the camera as nomadic weapon. International Journal of Education & the Arts, 15(Number 9). Retrieved [date] from
This paper considers the photographic act as an affective and affirmative encounter - a reflexive, embodied, and relational community engagement that may produce a rupture in our habitual modes of thinking. The author uses the Deleuzo-Guattarian concept of the nomadic weapon to consider how the camera may become an affective trigger for self-reflexivity, catalyzing the potential of nomadic thinking in a participatory frame. By transposing uses of photography as visual research method across cultural geography, visual anthropology, sociology, and arts-based educational research, the author discusses shifts in the function of photography from a practice emphasizing image production to an embodied and performative approach to community engagement. Using a photographic encounter with a local taco stand as an example, the piece considers the pedagogical potential of engaging with unfamiliar spaces as a participatory and reflexive photographic process.

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