Counter-Image International Conference 2022

Photo Impulse Final Conference: Decolonizing visuality

13th to 15th July 2022

Lisbon, Portugal

This event will take place online and on-site

This edition of Counter Image International Conference (CIIC22) proceeds the work of unveiling the ways in which images operate within the power and knowledge structures and systems of truth which tend to constitute hegemonic historical narratives and marginalize or erase those that are conflicting or minoritarian. This originates not only “centres” and “margins” but also tends to silence voices and invisible people, making certain ideias unpronounced. Being a historical process, it demands continuous criticism in line with the many scholars and artists working in Visual Culture, Gender Studies and Cultural Studies traditions in the various disciplines. Establishing counter narratives, counter archives and counter images is then a challenge to hegemonic social, cultural and political systems and a contribution to a much needed dialogue around themes that are difficult and complex, in view of a pluralist, diverse and balanced society.

In a world still deeply marked by colonial images and worldviews, in which the production and mass distribution of visual technologies has contributed to the naturalization of oppressive systems, making the underlying visual codes almost unnoticed, this edition wishes to debate colonial visual heritage and how it impacts the world today.

The images on this site come from the work O Festim [The Feast] (2021) by Soraya Vasconcelos, resulting from a reflection around a photograph from the album of the Luso-Belgian Border Delimitation Mission, 1914-1915 (©U Lisboa-IICT-MGG- Alb 12).
The Counter Image International Conference is organized by EVAM, the Visual Studies and Media Archaeology Observatory of NOVA Institute of Communication Sciences  (ICNOVA) at NOVA FCSH, NOVA University of Lisbon. 

The conference aims to gather researchers in visual culture, media arts and the humanities of different academic fields  and approaches, as well as artists, photographers, filmmakers, performers, curators and journalists, etc., interested in debating counter cultural visual narratives and practices and their role in contributing to sustainable and fair sociocultural environments.

This 2nd edition of the CIIC hosts the final conference of the Photo Impulse research project. In its first edition, in 2019, the conference was held in partnership with Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, in Brazil.
Richard Cleminson

Elizabeth Edwards

Researcher in Visual Anthropology

Elizabeth Edwards is a visual and historical anthropologist and is currently Andrew W. Mellon Professor at the Victoria and Albert Museum Research Institute, London. She is Professor Emerita of Photographic History at De Montfort University, Leicester, where she was Director of the Photographic History Research Centre from 2011- 2016. She is also Honorary Professor in the Department of Anthropology University College London. Until 2005 she was Curator of Photographs at Pitt Rivers Museum and lecturer in visual anthropology at ISCA, University of Oxford, where she is a Curator Emerita and Research Affiliate. Specialising in the social and material practices of photography, she has worked extensively on the relationships between photography, anthropology and history for over 30 years. Elizabeth Edwards is a scientific consultant of the research project Photo Impulse.

Joseph Tonda

Joseph Tonda

Researcher in Anthropology and Sociology

Joseph Tonda is Professor of sociology and anthropology at Omar Bongo University in Libreville, Gabon. He is the author of inumerous articles and publications, having published various books, including Afrodystopie – La vie dans le rêve d’Autrui [Karthala, 2021]; L’Impérialisme Postcolonial – Critique de la Société des Éblouissements [Karthala 2015]; The Modern Sovereign: The Body of Power in Central Africa (Congo, Gabon) [Karthala 2005 / Seagull Books 2020], La Guérison Divine en Afrique Centrale (Congo, Gabon) [Karthala 2003]. He is also a literary writer and has published Tuée-tuée Mon Amour (LA DOXA éditions, Paris, 2017) e Chiens de Foudre (ODEM, Libreville 2013). Joseph Tonda is a scientific consultant of the research project Photo Impulse.

Richard Cleminson

Richard Cleminson

Researcher in Iberian Studies

Richard Cleminson is Professor of Hispanic Studies at the University of Leeds, United Kingdom. He has published on the history of sexuality in Iberia, concentrating on the history of eugenics, homosexuality and themes related to the labour movement. His most recent publications include Catholicism, race and empire: Eugenics in Portugal, 1900-1950 (Budapest/New York, 2014) and Anarchism and eugenics: An unlikely convergence (Manchester, 2019). Currently, he is working on a history of anticolonialism in Portugal between 1900 and 1940 and has published on this topic: Anarchism and anticolonialism in Portugal (1919-1926): Mário Domingues, A Batalha and black internationalism, in Journal of Iberian and Latin American Studies, 25(3), 2019, pp. 441-465. Richard Cleminson is a scientific consultant of the research project Photo Impulse.

Inocencia Mata

Inocência Mata

Inocência Mata is professor of Literature, Arts and Culture (LAC) at the College of Letters, School of Arts and Humanities of the University of Lisbon, researcher at the Center for Comparative Studies (CEComp/FLUL) and director of the PhD Program in Portuguese as a Foreign Language/Second Language. She holds a PhD in Letters from the University of Lisbon and a postdoctoral degree in Postcolonial Studies (Postcolonial Studies, Identity, Ethnicity, and Globalization) from the University of California, Berkeley. Her teaching and research are mainly in the field of Post-colonial Studies, focusing on the following topics: African literatures and cultures, aesthetic relations between literatures in Portuguese, world-literature, memory studies, literary production by authors of African descent in Portugal and intercultural communication. Visiting professor at many foreign universities, she is also a member of the Editorial and Scientific Board of numerous specialist journals, both national and foreign.

The Organizing Committee of the CIIC22 has decided to offer a blended conference experience for the upcoming edition taking place 13 to 15 July. We look forward to meeting you in Lisbon!

Virtual presenters will have access to the talks of the other online participants as well as to the keynote presentations.
If you have been accepted to the conference, please make your registration by filling in the form bellow and following the necessary steps. If you are a student please upload a pdf of your student card or equivalent. Each presenting author is required to register and pay the conference fee. The fee for low and middle income countries refers to the delegate's institution and not to the delegate's nationality.

For those institutions requiring our identification for their internal procedures, please email us.

Registration Fees

Standard presenter/first author fee

Early Bird (until June 15th): 100€
Regular (until July 8th): 120€
Late registration (after July 8th): 130€

Student/Second authors and low and middle income countries ( list)

Early Bird  (until June 15th): 65€
Regular (until July 8th): 75€
Late Registration (after July 8th): 85€


31st March‍ April 20th

30th April
Notification of acceptance

Until June 15th
Early Bird Registration

Until July 8th
2nd registration date

After July 8th
Late registration


Parallel Program
Online Exhibition
Film Screenings


Colégio Almada Negreiros

Museu de História Natural e Ciência

To be announced soon.

Organizing Committee

EVAM- Observatório em Estudos Visuais e Arqueologia dos Media
Filippo De Tomasi
Isabel Stein

Teresa Mendes Flores (ICNOVA & ULHT)
Margarida Medeiros (NOVA FCSH)
Soraya Vasconcelos (ICNOVA & ULHT)
Mariana Gomes da Costa (NOVA FCSH)
José Pedro Batista (NOVA FCSH)
Maria Kowalski (NOVA FCSH)
Catarina Marques Mateus (MUNHAC)

ICNOVA Scientific Management
Patrícia Contreiras
Natália Manso

Scientific Committee

Alzira Tude de Sá (UFBA-Brazil)
Ana Lúcia Marsillac (UFSC-Brazil)
António Fernando Cascais (NOVA FCSH)
Catarina Marques Mateus (MUNHAC)
Élia Roldão (NOVA FCT)
Filipa Lowndes Vicente (ICS-UL)
Helena Elias (FBAUL)
Lorena Travassos (UAL & ICNOVA)
Margarida Medeiros (NOVA FCSH)
Maria da Conceição Casanova (NOVA FCT)
Maria do Carmo Piçarra (UAL & ICNOVA)
Maria Teresa Cruz (NOVA FCSH)
Sílvio Marcus de Sousa Correa (UFSC - Brazil)
Soraya Vasconcelos (ICNOVA & ULHT)
Susana de Sousa Dias (FBAUL)
Teresa Castro (Sorbonne Nouvelle 3)
Teresa Mendes Flores (ICNOVA & ULHT)
Victor Flores (ULHT)

This edition of the Counter Image International Conference is an association with Photo Impulse research project, funded by FCT (PTDC/COM-OUT/29608/2017). Photo Impulse investigates the photographic and film productions of the geodesic, geographical and anthropological missions to Portugal’s formerly occupied territories in Africa and Asia. The collections being investigated are curated by the Museum of Natural History and Science of Lisbon University, a partner of the project.

The final results of the project will be presented at the conference. The project raises many of the questions we wish to discuss: from the centre of the “Metropolis” to the periphery of the “Colonies”: how did images, in particular photography and film, reinforce these unbalanced places and disseminate within them? How do images  contribute to shaping the past and the present? What can be done to decolonize the archives, museums and centres of knowledge? How is it possible to integrate other forms of knowledge and knowledge production? What is the role of the arts and artistic practices? Which were the visual practices of those who were colonized? How are the contemporary visual practices of postcolonial authors shaping societies? How important are vernacular images to this discussion? What is the role of global media systems such as social media, television and journalism? How can images contribute to a more sustainable and equitable world? The writer Chinua Achebe spoke of a “balance of stories”, we ask how important is a balance of images and what are their affordances in relation to textual accounts?

In short, the scope of the conference includes, but is not limited to the following topics:
  • Colonial visual cultures and strategies for decolonization
  • Colonial and postcolonial photography and film
  • Museums and colonial heritage
  • Social sustainability and image practices
  • Counter-hegemonic narratives 
  • Visual Culture of the “colonial sciences”
  • Colonial cosmoramas, panoramas and other “ramas”
  • Archive dynamics in relation to counter-power and counter-memory
  • Artistic practices as resistance
  • The use of vernacular images and processes in artistic production
  • Ecocriticism in visual practices


Abstracts are due by 31st March April 20th‍ Portuguese and English languages are accepted. 

We encourage proposals that are ACADEMIC, ARTISTIC or HYBRID in nature. Proposals will be for 20 minute time slots and must be sent through our Easy Chair Account, here. After creating a login, submit an abstract with no more than 500 words, with 5 key-words and no more than 5 bibliographic references. Artistic/hybrid presentations should be time-based, including audiovisual or sound-based works, or performance-based actions. These proposals should include the previously mentioned abstract, key-words and bibliographic references (when relevant) and also be accompanied by a short 3-4min. sample and/or an illustrated description (please contact for instructions). In all cases a separate biographical note should be uploaded. Use the “Paper” section at the end of the application form in Easy Chair, to upload your short bio. Please make sure your name is not mentioned anywhere in the abstract. Proposals will be selected through a double blind referee system. Sessions will be organized based on thematic kinship, regardless of practices (academic/artistic/hybrid); all works will be considered equally valid scholarly outputs. Successful applicants will be contacted by April 30th, 2022.

The Organizing Committee of the CIIC22 has decided to offer a blended conference experience for the upcoming edition taking place 13 to 15 July. While submitting their abstracts, applicants should indicate their option for an online or on-site presentation. We look forward to meeting you in Lisbon!

Papers or visual essays may be submitted to a special issue of an academic journal (to be announced).