chapter  15
My Dissertation Photo Album: Snapshots from a Writing Tour: Doro Wiese
ByDORO WIESE
Pages 12

A photo album is a way to reconstruct personal history (Schade 1993). Although photographs are supposed to show only instants in time, their compilation creates a different way of viewing. Photos put together tempt their viewers to construct a story line between them that is not displayed in the photographs themselves. The border of a snapshot in a photo album is therefore the starting point for the construction of a story; it is the interface between the reality displayed in the photograph and the engagement of the viewer. Taking up this notion, I want to display different snapshots made of words that I took while writing my dissertation. Although these snapshots are taken from different angles, show diverse places and people and display different genres of writing, all of them are concerned with change. What is changing? And how can we ourselves change in a constructive way? Somewhat predictably perhaps, I diagnose our times as rapidly changing. A pervasive turbo-capitalism is unfolding that sweeps away many traditions in its sway, but do we have to give in to these developments? Is there a way to imagine a political and economic order that escapes these tendencies? Can we “wrest tradition away from the conformism that is working to overpower it” (Benjamin 2006, 391)?