Children’s Photography Archive

The children’s photography archive is the first archive of its kind featuring the works of child photographers. Photography is a powerful cultural form for intervening into public life. Children in contemporary times are not often thought of or treated as photographers, despite the proliferation and accessibility of digital cameras to children. Meanwhile, historical examples of child photographers are very few and far between. As such, children’s opportunities for such public interventions are diminished, as are the opportunities to engage with and learn from the ‘child’s gaze’. The aim of the archive is to provide a space for children photographers to deposit their work, for adults in various capacities to reflect on and think about the ‘child’s gaze’.

The archive was originally created through the multimodal ethnographic work with children participating in the Connectors Study. Children participating in the study where given digital cameras to take photographs of things that mattered to them, things they cared about and which they felt were important to share with researchers and the wider world. A selection of these photographs can be found in the archive, and form the archive’s first collection.

We are in the process of applying for grants to further support the research and practice of the Children’s Photography Archive, with the aim of making this a live archive for submissions from children themselves and from those adults in various capacities who work photographically with children (photographers, youth workers, educators, development workers).

The photographs in this archive are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. If you would like to use the deposited photographs in academic (research and teaching) and other not-for-profit work you are welcome to. We ask only that you acknowledge the archive and provide a link to it.

You can acknowledge the archive in any writing, presentations or other dissemination or teaching activity with the following sentence: ‘The photographs analysed/presented [delete/replace as appropriate] were sourced from the Children’s Photography Archive which is co-directed by Dr Sevasti-Melissa Nolas and Dr Christos Varvantakis (both at Goldsmiths, University of London). The archive emerged from ERC Connectors Study (ERC-StG-335514, awarded to Dr Sevasti-Melissa Nolas), which explored the relationship between childhood and public life, and the collection used here contains photographs taken by children on that study. In this paper/presentation [delete/replace as appropriate] the photographs are used to….’.

It would be great if you could let us know where/when you have used the Children’s Photography Archive, and how this was, as it helps us develop and hone the archive, and build a case for why it’s necessary. We would also welcome reflective blog posts about using the archive.