Politics and Image: Conference Program

Pedro Miguel Tereso de Magalhaes, Constantine Pereira Martins

Research output: Conference materialsOther conference material


In an age of social media and instant communication where the visual element has taken such a preponderance, one is almost intuitively led to the dual conviction that images have vast political implications and that politics involves, at its very core, the creation and diffusion of images. Such intuitions, and the need to examine them more closely, served as the point of departure for organizing the present conference. Our aim was to collect a series of reflections, from across the humanities and the social sciences, on the relationship between politics and image. And we were pleased to find out that our call found the plural reception it was looking for.
The relationship between politics and aesthetics, with its manifold reconfigurations from Plato to the philosophy of technology, runs like a red thread through all the panels. Still, most papers go beyond a strictly historical-philosophical perspective and attempt to tackle current theoretical and political challenges. One will encounter both critical perspectives, stressing the oppressive and alienating dimensions of contemporary image production, and more encouraging outlooks pointing towards the emancipatory potential of images.
The effects of the rise of an eminently visual culture on political ideas, institutions, identities, and attitudes will also constitute an important topic of reflection and debate throughout. Should the very concept of democracy be redefined? Must we reconsider the nature and purpose of the public sphere? What should one make of the blurring of the lines between fact and fiction, between information, entertainment and propaganda? These are just some of the urgent questions that the papers will address.
Last but not least, we were also fortunate enough to gather a number of contributions that approach the theme of the conference from the point of view of specific performative and visual-artistic practices. The perspectives of architecture, film, theatre, and photography will, thus, join and enrich the approaches of philosophers and social scientists.
Of course, most of the questions raised in the next three days will – as they must – remain without a definitive answer. However, perhaps one will, in the end, be in a position to formulate new, better questions. If that happens, the conference will have achieved its goal.

Original languageMultilingual
Number of pages34
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2018
MoE publication typeNot Eligible
EventPolitics and Image - University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal
Duration: 15 Nov 201817 Nov 2018


ConferencePolitics and Image

Fields of Science

  • 611 Philosophy
  • 517 Political science
  • 518 Media and communications

Cite this