Ep #72 Weaponised Photography & Sex Work: Camille Waring on Online Intimacy & Lens Based Violence

Before we dive into today’s episode we’d just like to add a content warning for this episode for sexual assault. 

This week, Familiar Stranger Carolyn sits down with Camille Waring from the University of Westminster. Camille is currently doing her PhD on online representations of sex workers and how photography is being used against marginalized communities.  

Throughout this chat, Carolyn dives into the meanings of photography today, what the actual act of taking a photograph means for people and definitions of “Lens Based Violence” and weaponized photography. Eventually, they ask the questions of “what is a photograph” and  “who decides what can go on what platforms?” 

It was a really interesting conversation with some thought provoking points made. We hope you enjoy it! 

Just a note on the audio quality, we’re still conducting some interviews through Zoom so some parts of the interview might be harder to hear than others. 

Links and Citations 

Check out Camille’s work 


And here:

The work of Bordieu that Camille mentioned

Check out Susan Sontag’s lecture “On Classical Pornography” 

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Our Patreon can be found at https://www.patreon.com/thefamiliarstrange

This anthropology podcast is supported by the Australian Anthropological Society, the ANU’s College of Asia and the Pacific and College of Arts and Social Sciences, and the Australian Centre for the Public Awareness of Science, and is produced in collaboration with the American Anthropological Association.

Music by Pete Dabro: dabro1.bandcamp.com
Shownotes by Matthew Phung
Podcast edited by Carolyn West and Matthew Phung


“I learned very early on the power inherent in a photograph, not to collect memories, but to anchor stories” 

“Photography for me wasn’t about you know, running off and buying a little camera and buying pretty pictures. It was about trying to get a  connection to a man that I could not remember” 

“I guess photography was my little escapism for a while” 

“That kinda got me thinking about what is the purpose of a photograph, what role does a photograph play in the world?” 

“You know we all end up as a collection of photographs” 

“The interest in photography and photographs that my mother had fostered through images of my father, this man just shattered and destroyed”. 

“I’m interested in the impacts that the photographs have on wider people and otherness in particular marginalised people” 

“It got to ask questions like “why don’t we photograph death?””

“Why do we have to share photographs?’ 

“Who’s nostalgia are we reminiscing?” 

“I guess its allowed you to analyse visual data that has already been created not for research purposes, to create new understandings for research purposes” 

“So it presents a real problem about who gets to occupy social media spaces in the visual sense? Whose photographs are permissible and why?” 

“What is a photograph?  And we need to reevaluate that question for now” 

Feature image “Paparazzi” by Christophe De Mulder (2010)

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