Constance Stuart’s War: Women and Documentary’s Excess

Constance Stuart’s War: Women and Documentary’s Excess
1 March 2017, 5.30pm - 6.30pm
Warburg Institute, Woburn Square, London WC1H 0AB

Professor Tamar Garb, UCL

The lecture looks at a remarkable photograph taken by the South African war correspondent in WW2, Constance Stuart (Larrabee) at the moment of the liberation of France. The photograph, one of nine in a series, depicts one of the femmes tondues the sheared women collectively punished for having ‘associated with the Germans’. It is read in relation to other photographs in the series as well as the agenda of Libertas, the first picture magazine in South Africa, for whom Stuart worked. But there is more to Stuart’s relationship to the image than the need to document the occasion. What seeps out from the image is something that exceeds documentary’s desire, inadvertently articulating both the photographer’s and the protagonist’s position in history.



The Bilderfahrzeuge Project

The research project ‘Bilderfahrzeuge. Aby Warburg’s Legacy and the Future of Iconology’ sets out to explore the migration of images, objects, commodities, and texts, in short: the migration of ideas in a broad historical and geographical context. It is funded by the German Ministry of Higher Education and Research, realised in cooperation with the Max Weber Stiftung, and situated at the Warburg Institute, London, as well as at the Deutsche Forum für Kunstgeschichte (Paris), Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Kunsthistorische Institut (Florence), and Warburg Haus (Hamburg). Each institution is represented by one of the five Professors who also direct the research project: Andreas Beyer (Basel/Paris) who is also functioning as the research centre’s speaker, Horst Bredekamp (Berlin), Uwe Fleckner (Hamburg), David Freedberg (London), and Gerhard Wolf (Florence). For more information on the Bilderfahrzeuge Project please visit our website at


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