Docile Suffragettes? Resistance to Police Photography

History and Theory of Photography Research Centre

Free and open to all, at 43 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PD, unless otherwise specified

Wednesday 17 February 2016, 6-7:30 pm

Room B04

Linda Mulcahy (London School of Economics)

Docile Suffragettes? Resistance to Police Photography

Seminal accounts of the history of photography commonly draw attention to the mugshot as the archetypal documentary visual record in which prisoners are rendered docile.  This paper attempts a revisionist account of the mugshot by looking for evidence of resistance and agency. In doing so it draws on a little discussed campaign in which suffragettes regularly resisted having their photographs taken by prison authorities and discusses the implications of this for the way we view these photographs.