Conference on War Photography

19 March 2015

Society news

The Royal Photographic Society's Documentary and Visual Journalism Group is running a one-day conference on war photography on Sunday, 19 April 2015, at the Discovery Centre, Winchester. Speakers include Dr Hilary Roberts, Research Curator of Photography from the Imperial War Museum. A supporting exhibition Then and Now, is on show at the same venue from 17-28 April.

The conference, which is open to everyone, features five respected speakers who will discuss different aspects of the genre: 

  • Dr Del Barrett ARPS Metaphors we die by. An overview of the inextricable link between language as a means of persuasion and war.  The use of language as a means of garnering support for war is far from new. In her presentation, Del Barrett looks at the different techniques that have been used since WW1, including neologism  euphemism and metaphor, and shows how such devices can have deadly effects on those in the war arena, including the war photographers.

  • Alison Baskerville Women and Conflict. The portrayal of women as victims of war is something we see regularly on the news.  But what happens when the woman chooses a uniform and takes on the more male dominated aspect of warfare?  This talk will explore the idea of women and war and the images that represent them. 

  • Dr RM Callender FRPS Photography in the Great War. The profusion of images that emerged to remind us of the conflict between 1914 and 1918 prompted Ron Callender to examine the role of photography in the Great War.  His aim was to find out why photography was important to both the allies and the axes powers, and to gather examples of social and professional photography from both sides.

  • Brett Killington. The importance of documenting the remains of WWI. Brett has spent the last four years documenting the tunnels and other remains of WWI and he will discuss why they have historical value and the importance of documenting what remains for the future.

  • Dr. Hilary Roberts, Imperial War Museum Research Curator of Photography, An Introduction to War Photography.  War photography is a complex but frequently misunderstood genre which is almost as old as photography itself.  This talk will consider the nature, origins and evolution of the key formative influences on photographers who take war as their subject. 

The conference takes place at: The Discovery Centre, Jewry Street, Winchester, SO23 8SB on Sunday, 19 April from 11.00am to 4.00pm. It costs £12 (£10 for RPS members and £8 for DVJ Group members). Bookings can be made via:

The exhibition Then and Now runs from from 17-28 April at The Discovery Centre, Jewry Street, Winchester, SO23 8SB. 

For more information email:

Photos: Roger Fenton, The Ordnance Wharf, Balaklava, 1855;  Horace W Nicholls, British soldier with fixed bayonet, First World War, 1914-1918.  Both from The Royal Photographic Society Collection / National Media Museum.