I came across this website in my travels over the summer: Photomediations Machine. It’s a “curated online space” that hosts reflections on photography and other media as forms of mediation, reflections which are mostly heavily visual (though, quite rightly I think, every submission has to include “a short description or a contextualisation piece”). It’s very nicely put together, easy to navigate and robust; all the links worked fine, all the videos played. Nice.
And it’s robust in another sense: submissions are peer-reviewed by the editor, Joanna Zylinska, and a member of the site’s Advisory Board. It would be interesting to know what sort of criteria they use when they evaluate pieces for publication on the site. Apart from a skills deficit, I think one reason social scientists are so wary of creating visual pieces of research is the uncertainty about how they will be evaluated. Well-curated sites like this could inform a fuller discussion than is currently happening about how images can create social science. On the evidence of this site, for example, they clearly do a lot of things other than ‘evoke the affective’ or ‘display the real’, which are the two reasons most commonly given for creating images as part of a research project, I think.