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