What are family photographs?
How do they shape our memories?
How do they mediate our experiences of migration?
What can they tell us about our national histories?
THE FAMILY CAMERA NETWORK is a collaborative project that explores the relationship between photography and the idea of family, whether of origin or of choice, as is the case of LGBTQ+ communities. In Canada, approaches to family have expanded in response to cultural shifts including: same-sex marriage, transnational adoptions, dislocations to pursue economic opportunities or prompted by political instability, climate change, or war. Personal photographs document feelings about family, how family is defined, and connections to loved ones who may be separated due to dislocation.
In Summer 2016, The Family Camera Network began building a public archive of family photographs and their stories at the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives and the Royal Ontario Museum, focusing on migration in the near or distant past, and to and within Canada. Currently, this archive contains over 10,000 photographs and 30 oral history interviews. By preserving family photos and their stories, this public archive provides an important resource for teachers, historians, and scholars to write new histories of photography, family, and Canada. Our collecting period formally ends in December 2018.