This working group discusses research on cultural and material production by people who experienced different forms of detention during modern military conflicts. It focuses on life writing, literary and poetry works, photography and visual artworks by civilian internees, prisoners of war and refugees between 1940 and the present.

Captivity and co-creation in photographs of Italian POWs during WWII

This paper looks at official photographs – taken by military personnel and others – of Italian POWs posing with their creative production or while making art and craft, in Australian and British camps, during WWII. These photographs witness the process of making objects and participation in creative activities in and for the camp. At the same time, what is displayed in these photographs hides a deeper subjective condition that is one of somebody forced to negotiate the complexities of war, captivity and dislocation. Within this negotiation forms of co-creation occur. The paper will discuss the potential capacity of these photographs to create relations of sharing within diverse temporalities and to challenge the regimes of subjection that have produced them and within which the prisoners were confined.

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