Fedora Parkmann: Research & CV

A Transnational Perspective on Czech Social Photography. A Case Study of Czech International Exhibitions from 1933 to 1934 between Germany, France and the USSR

Research Area 1: Displacements, “Dépaysements” and Discrepancies: People, Knowledge and Practices

My research project aims to provide new insights into links between photography, communist activism and mass media between the wars, through a transnational approach. I will focus on the three international social photography exhibitions that were organized in Prague and Brno between 1933 and 1934 by the “film-foto” group of the left-wing cultural association Levá fronta. These events favored international dialogue and interplay between images, ideas and actors and are, as such, ideal sites for a transnational discussion of social photography. In exploring each exhibition’s preparation, content and reception, I aim to place Czech social photography in relation to the worker photography movements in Germany, France and the USSR. In order to critically expand on this interwar narrative, due weight will also be given to the exhibitions’ restaging that occurred in Czechoslovakia during the Communist era.

This project employs a mixed methodology that combines an investigation of cultural transfers with a consideration of the exhibition dispositive. I will analyze social photography as a hybridized practice resulting from transfers between the USSR, Germany, France and Czechoslovakia, from the perspective of the cultural transfers and histoire croisée. Moreover, by drawing from the expanding field of exhibition studies, I will examine the dispositive of the exhibition as a specific medium, requiring that particular attention be paid to the way images are displayed, as well as to their relation to the press and temporal dimensions such as duration, and legacies.



2017: Ph.D., Art History, Sorbonne Université
Dissertation title: Paris – Prague: Transfers in Photography, 1918-1939 

2011: Master’s degree, Art History, Sorbonne Université

2010: Exchange student, M.A. Art History, Columbia University

2009: Master’s degree (first year), Museology, École du Louvre (Paris)

2007: Bachelor’s degree, Art History, École du Louvre (Paris) ; Bachelor’s degree, Art History, Sorbonne Université


2019: Research stay, Centre for French-Russian Studies, Moscow

2014: Research Fellowship in Art History, Centre Pompidou, Paris

2012: Louis Rœderer Research Fellowship in History of Photography, National Library of France, Paris

Courses taught

2018: Instructor, Université catholique de l’Ouest (Angers) : Lecture & Workshop on History of Modern Art (1905-1945) (30 hours)

2017-2018: Instructor, Department of Art History, Sorbonne Université : Lectures & Workshops on History of Modern and Contemporary Art, History of Museums (192 hours)

2016: Instructor, Université catholique de l’Ouest (Angers): Lecture & Workshop on The Nineteenth Century Image (24 hours)

Selected publications

Peer-Reviewed Articles
  • « Un patrimoine visuel sous le communisme. La photographie amateur et sociale du président tchécoslovaque Antonín Zápotocký » (A Visual Heritage Under Communism. Amateur and Social Photographs by the Czechoslovak President Antonín Zápotocký), Photographica, n°1, Sept. 2020, p. 93-109.
  • « Une histoire en deux actes : la photographie sociale tchèque de l’entre-deux-guerres au prisme de l’historiographie de l’ère communiste » (A History in Two Acts. Interwar Czech social photography through the filter of communist historiography), Transbordeur : photographie, histoire, société, n°4, 2020, p. 50-59.
  • « Photographies parisiennes des surréalistes tchèques : des preuves à l’appui d’une mémoire partagée du surréalisme » (Photographs of Paris by Czech Surrealists as Evidence of a Shared Memory of Surrealism), Marges, revue d’art contemporain, n°29, 2019, p. 84-102.
  • « Du photomontage comme trace de la circulation des savoirs artistiques. Le cas de Karel Teige » (Collage as a Trace of Artistic Transfers. The Case of Karel Teige), Histoire de l’art, n°78, 2016/1, p.117-130.
  • « Logique circulatoire de la photographie imprimée. Le cas des revues d’avant-garde tchèques » (Printed Photography’s Circulation Logic. The Case of Czech Avant-Garde Periodicals), Artl@s Bulletin, n°2, automne 2015, p. 14-25.
  • « Vilem Kriz (1921-1994) : la photographie surréaliste dans l’engrenage du temps » (Vilem Kriz : Surrealist Photography Caught in the Wheels of Time), Revue de la Bibliothèque nationale de France, n° 47, octobre 2014, p.68-77.
  • « Un avatar tchécoslovaque de la Fifo : l’Exposition internationale de photographie, Prague, 1936 » (A Czechoslovak Variation on Fifo: The International Photography Exhibition, Prague, 1936), Études photographiques, n° 29, mai 2012, p.43-81.

Selected Paper Presentations

  • « The Entangled Reception of Ukrainian and Soviet Photography in Interwar Czechoslovakia », International conference Kharkiv Photo Forum, 18 – 21 Aug. 2020, Kharkiv, online.
  • « Les albums de famille du président Antonín Zápotocký : mémoire privée, enjeux publics », Conference Patrimoines photographiques : histoire, ethnologie, émotions, 7 – 8 Nov. 2019, Paris, Musée des Arts décoratifs.
  • « Triangular Circulation. Interwar Photograms between France, Germany and Czechoslovakia », International Conference Practices, Circulation and Legacies. Photographic Histories in Central and Eastern Europe, 8 – 10 May 2018, Ljubljana, City Museum of Ljubljana.
  • « Psychogéographies parisiennes dans la photographie des surréalistes tchèques », International workshop Paris – haut-lieu urbain, institutionnel et artistique de la photographie, 3 – 7 July 2017, Paris, Centre allemand d’histoire de l’art.
  • « Aspects internationaux de la photographie sociale en Tchécoslovaquie », International symposium L’internationale de la photographie sociale, 3 March 2017, Paris, Institut national d’histoire de l’art.
  • « An Example of Interwar Czech-Russian Cultural Transfer. The Czech Worker Photography Movement”, International Conference East Central Europe in the First Half of the 20th Century – Transnational Perspectives, 14 – 16 Jan. 2016, Leipzig, Geisteswissenschaftliches Zentrum Geschichte und Kultur Ostmitteleuropas.