Gendered meanings, particularly around sentiment and attachment, shape hierarchies of value that organize our understandings of the creation, reproduction, and circulation of landscape photography. To explore these ideas, this article considers Australian wilderness diaries and calendars, which began to emerge in the late 1970s. Popular landscape photography is often derided as merely showing pristine, repetitive scenes: technically perfect shots of sunsets or snowy mountain peaks. Such images in mass-market print culture have been critiqued for presenting wilderness as separate from human intervention. Yet despite their limitations, diaries and calendars, as they move into gendered domestic spaces, do important work. Images of wilderness in everyday use provoke the question of how sentimental attachments toward landscapes might prompt environmental awareness and action.
The Wilderness Diary: Sentimental Attachments, Gender, and the Domestication of Environmental Politics in Australian Landscape Photography of the 1980s and 1990s
Jane Simon is a lecturer in media at Macquarie University in Sydney whose work encompasses both creative practice and traditional academic research. She researches and teaches in film studies, visual cultural studies, and photography. Her current research is focused on the role of photography and cinema in refiguring understandings of autobiography, domestic space, and interiority.
Nicole Matthews lectures in media and cultural studies at Macquarie University. Her most recent book, written with Naomi Sunderland, is Digital Storytelling in Health and Social Policy: Listening to Marginalised Voices (Routledge, 2017). Her current project focuses on the convergence between hearing aids and mobile phones, and how new alignments between previously distinct mainstream communication tools and assistive tech might shape the understandings, identities, and practices of both users and nonusers. For the past seven years she has written and illustrated the photoblog berowrabackyard.com, documenting the relationships between humans and more than humans around Deerubbin / The Hawkesbury River.
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Jane Simon, Nicole Matthews; The Wilderness Diary: Sentimental Attachments, Gender, and the Domestication of Environmental Politics in Australian Landscape Photography of the 1980s and 1990s. Feminist Media Histories 1 April 2020; 6 (2): 95–119. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/fmh.2020.6.2.95
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