Visual Mediations, Affordances and Social Capital

Visual Mediations, Affordances and Social Capital

Patricia Prieto-Blanco: Visual Mediations, Affordances and Social Capital.

Spatial dislocation of migrants is a catalyst for early, heavy and informed media use (Ponzanesi & Leurs 2014); as well as a motif for transnational families to form families of choice (Beck-Gernsheim 1998; Weston 1997). This text reports on how Irish-Spanish families living in Ireland manage this situation. It argues that (digital) photographic exchanges give rise to mediated third places (Oldenburg, 1989), where (dis)affect and belonging are negotiated. Transnational families visually mediate their domestic spaces regularly. The double visual mediation of presence and space forms part of their everyday. This, in turn, outlines current developments in how (digital) photography is used to mediate actions and emotions. In accounting for and reflecting about how (dis)affective communities of place activate affordances of media, photography emerges as a multi-dimensional site of image production, distribution and storage, in short, as a practice that is both unique to the socio-cultural moment in which it is embedded, and general enough to be recognized as such across cultures and societies.

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One of the more widespread suppositions about new media is that they override physical boundaries to the extreme that place does not play a role anymore.
Reading time: 16 min.

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