Gil Pasternak talks at Speaking of Photography, the annual series of public lectures on the history, theory, and practice of photography at Concordia University, Canada

On 31 January 2020 Gil Pasternak was invited to deliver the talk “Digitized Contestations: Family Photographs in the Struggle Over Cultural Heritage in Israel” as part of Speaking of Photography the annual series of public lectures on the history, theory, and practice of photography, organized by the Department of Art History at Concordia University, Canada. In his talk, Pasternak explained that although for the onlooker, Israel may appear as the state of a united people and Israeli society politically coherent, the multiple range of photographic digital heritage initiatives currently prevailing in the country frame Israel as a zone of cultural conflicts. Pasternak demonstrated that, especially since the 2009 election of a right-leaning government, Israeli citizens have turned to family photographs and digital technology to document, preserve, and popularize a range of cultural heritage creations, often unauthorized by the state or its official institutions. He therefore discussed what has led Israeli citizens to use specifically family photographs in their attempts to diversify Israel’s socio-political sphere and what it can tell us about Israeli attitudes towards the state of Israel and Israeli canonical culture.

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