The UAL Photography and the Archive Research Centre (PARC) was designated by University of the Arts London in 2003 and is based at London College of Communication.
The centre commissions new and innovative research into photography and culture and organises seminars, exhibitions, study days, symposia and conferences, both within the UAL and externally. The Journal of Photography & Culture is co-hosted by the Centre, and PARC also leads the online Directory of Photographic Collections in the UK.
PARC’s interests span the history and culture of photography, with particular emphasis on post-war British photography, the documentation of war and conflict, the photography of fashion and style, the visualisation of the counterculture and photographers as filmmakers.
Recent projects include the touring exhibition of Daniel Meadows' early photographic works curated by Val Williams and the related publication Daniel Meadows: Edited Photographs from the 70s and 80s, written and edited by Williams and published by Photoworks. The exhibition opened in 2011 at the National Media Museum as part of the Ways of Seeing Festival. In 2012-14 the exhibition will tour to Ffotogallery Wales, London College of Communication and Birmingham Library and Archive Services.
In 2011, PARC members Paul Lowe and Brigitte Lardinois began work on the NAM project, which brings together the photographic archives of Philip Jones Griffiths, the film archive of Stanley Kubrick and the journalistic archive of Phillip Knightley in an interactive multimedia resource that looks at the resonance of the Vietnam War today and draws connections between different areas of practice. Exploring issues around the of ethics of war reporting and the role of the media in covering and representing conflict, the resource will go online in 2012, and will expand to cover recent conflicts. A peer-reviewed conference, Considering Vietnam, was held at the Imperial War Museum London in February 2012. Other projects which fall within the context of PARC’s War and Conflict research group include the exhibition Closer, which featured contemporary photographs by Stuart Griffiths and archive material reflecting Griffiths’ own experience of military service and his continuing documentation of army veterans.
Growing up in the New Age, a collaborative partnership between PARC, the University of Sunderland, Streetlevel Photoworks and Wolverhampton Art Gallery, was launched in 2012 with an exhibition reflecting on growing up in counter-cultural Britain, with new work by Marjolaine Ryley and photographs from the archive of Dave Walkling. The exhibition Growing Up in the New Age will tour the UK and is accompanied by an issue of PARC’s publication Fieldstudy 15, and Growing Up in the New Age- a collection of essays by Val Williams, Marjolaine Ryley, Zoe Lippett and Malcolm Dickson.
PARC is actively involved in curating and producing exhibitions which reflect the work of researchers and research students. PARC administrator Wendy Short curated the London College of Communication inaugural PhD student exhibition in February 2012 and also co- directed the film Storage in 2011. Research Fellow Sara Davidmann curated Finds 1 in 2011, which explored the collections and archives of PARC researchers.
PARC PhD students are supported by the Centre, to programme masterclasses and seminars. Most recently Corrine Silva has organised PhD masterclasses with photographers Jem Southam, Clare Strand and Broomberg & Chanarin. Sam Vale currently organises the Research Seminars in the History, Theory and Practice of Photography.
PARC also hosts visiting research students and organises an internship programme. PARC administrator Wendy Short curated the London College of Communication inaugural PhD student exhibition in February 2012.