Dr Paula Gortazar

Dr Paula Gortazar

Dr. Paula Gortazar is a photography researcher, artist and writer. She was awarded a PhD in Photography from the University of Westminster, specialising in Eastern and Central European photography from the communist period. The results of her doctoral investigation have been published in different academic journals, including Photography and Culture and Fotocinema.

Paula’s artistic practice explores the relation between art and politics. She is particularly interested in the aesthetics of ‘the political’, as well as in contemporary forms of censorship and surveillance in the Western world. Her work has been widely exhibited in Canada, the USA, Germany, the UK and Spain, including venues like The Photographers’ Gallery, and published in different international media, such as the British Journal of Photography or EXIT magazine. She also contributes as an independent writer for Source Photographic Review and C4 Journal.

Her latest research activity focuses on the relationship between photography and human-computer interaction. Her current project, You, Me, Like, studies the links between image perception and social media engagement in the context of domestic imagery. By analysing the impact that individual profile algorithms have on the images that users are presented with (and tend to react to), the research aims to through a light into the relation between a photographed lived experience and the effective meaning of online interactions with shared images from the ‘digital other’.


Gortázar, P. 2019. ‘Subjective Documentary Photography in ‘‘Normalised’’ Czechoslovakia (1968-89). Decoding Vladimír Birgus’ Work’. Fotocinema 19: 101-123.


Gortázar, P. 2019. ‘Toward an Emancipation of Photographic Vision: “Visualism” Under Czechoslovakian “Normalization” (1968–89)’. Photography and Culture 12 (2): 151-170. https://doi.org/10.1080/17514517.2019.1596598


Gortázar, P. and Esparza, R. (eds.). ‘Seeing Right: Amblyopia and The Optical Image’. In Fotocinema n.19, 2019. http://dx.doi.org/10.24310/Fotocinema.2019.v2i19


‘Cosmos, Fiction and Transcendence: Conceptual Art and Photography in Communist Bratislava (1968-89)’, The Association for Slavic, East European, & Eurasian Studies, Washington DC, 5th-8th November 2020.

‘Towards an Emancipation of Photographic Vision: ‘Visualism’, ‘Opsognomie’ and ‘Elementary Photography’’, at the conference Practices, Circulation and Legacies: Photographic Histories in Central and Eastern Europe’, City Museum, Ljubljana, Slovenia, 8th – 10th May 2018

‘Political Frames’, at the conference Talking Pictures: Photography Today and Tomorrow, University of South Wales, 30th November – 1st December 2012

  • Centre for Research and Education in Arts and Media

In brief

Research areas

Photography History and Theory, Post-digital Cultures and Art Activism