Light, Structure, Encounter - Street Photography in Palermo and Paris

The digital image is omnipresent - in one's own smartphone, on the Internet, on the computer. In scientific research, the digital image is both object and instrument, as the exhibition with photos by Dr.' Evelyn Runge shows.

18.01.2023 - 29.03.2023

About the exhibition

The photos were taken during two workshops of the renowned photo agency Magnum in Palermo and Paris. They were chosen as a portfolio after joint editing processes with the workshop leaders; the black-and-white shots were supplemented by a personal selection of images by Dr.' Evelyn Runge. The workshops offered the opportunity to move from scientific theory into research practice. On the one hand, the challenge was to quickly find one's way around foreign cities, to find good places for photography, and to establish trust with the people portrayed for portraits. On the other hand, it was a matter of reflecting on this and bringing it back to scientific research - for example, by developing new research questions or refining existing ones.

At the same time, it opens up the possibility of exploring aspects of visual ethnography, photojournalistic reportage and street photography, for example, becoming part of the environment oneself, observing very closely, and depicting special moments aesthetically. The Magnum workshops gave a lot of space to joint editing - that is, the viewing, discussion and selection of the new photos produced each day. This feedback could be directly implemented when photographing again.

Visual ethnography uses visual media for research, for example photography, video, drawings. It can be used to explore questions of power and domination relations, lines of conflict in societies, the relationship of people to culture, tradition, work, the environment and their transformations, as well as gender relations. In this, it marks an interface to topics that are also relevant for documentary photography.

The exhibition in the red showcases at the University and City Library of Cologne marks the transition between the first and the second project phase within the DFG priority program "The Digital Image". In the second project phase, Dr.' Runge is researching on the “Glocalization of the digital image: ethics, image action and innovative methods".

Project Manager

Dr.' Evelyn Runge is a researcher at the Institute for Media Culture and Theater at the University of Cologne. Since 2020, she has been leading a research project within the priority program "The Digital Image" of the German Research Foundation (DFG), which deals with photojournalism under digital conditions in a variety of ways.

Research questions concern the relationship between professional photojournalists and produsers (according to Axel Bruns, users are also producers), including on social media platforms such as Twitter, the theorization of the digital image, and visual ethics. The digital image is understood as research object and research instrument, the digital camera as research tool. In order to approach embodied practices of ethics and image-making by photojournalists and to develop further research questions as well as research gaps between theory and practice, Dr.' Runge herself.


For further reading

A recent research article by Evelyn Runge on some of the exhibited photographs appeared in December 2022 in the journal "Rundbrief Fotografie" under the title " Visuelle Autoethnografie. Feldforschung in Palermo bei einem Fotoworkshop" (Rundbrief Fotografie - Vol. 29 (2022), No. 3/4 [N.F. 115/116], pp. 63-74.

Runge, Evelyn. 2021. "Photo-Editors and Para-Photojournalists on Twitter. The Commodification of Networked Images." Animus. Revista Interamericana de Comunicação Midiática (Inter-American Journal of Media Communication) 20 (43); 27-46

Runge, Evelyn. 2021. "Behind the Digital Image. Public Photographs on Community Platforms and Twitter as Repositories for Machine Learning and Journalistic Publications." International Journal for Digital Art History DAHJ E1; 100-115.



University and City Library Cologne, showcase in front of the cafeteria, Universitätsstrasse 33, 50931 Cologne

Opening hours

Monday to Friday from 9 am to midnight - Saturday and Sunday from 9 am to 9 pm.


Dr.' Evelyn Runge, Project Manager, DFG Project "The Digital Image", Institute for Media Culture and Theater at the University of Cologne.