History of Art


Katarzyna Falęcka



Katarzyna Falecka holds a BA in History of Art from the Courtauld Institute of Art, a MA in History of Art & Visual Culture from the University of Oxford, and a PhD in History of Art from University College London (supervised by Professor Tamar Garb and Dr. Azzedine Haddour). She was the recipient of the Edgar Wind Scholarship (MA), while her PhD was funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. She held fellowships at the John W. Kluge Centre, Library of Congress (2018) and at the Department of African Art, Free University Berlin (2019). She is the second-place winner of Apexart Open Call and will curate an exhibition at Apexart, New York in 2021. She is currently a CAORC/Mellon Postdoctoral Humanities Fellow and Project Coordinator at the Centre d'Études Maghrébines à Tunis (CEMAT). 


Archival Excavations: Photography, the Algerian War of Independence (1954-62) and the Afterlives of Images
This thesis investigates the re-emergence of historical photographs from the Algerian War of Independence (1954-62) in visual culture since the early 1980s. Against ongoing political disputes surrounding the return of archives pertaining to the war from France to Algeria, artists and photographers including Dennis Adams, Marc Garanger, Zineb Sedira, Bruno Boudjelal, Nadja Makhlouf, Marwa Arsanios and others have all mined and re-mediated both state and private collections within their own practices. By focusing on the mobility and circulation of selected war photographs, this thesis examines the political, cultural and social motivations behind these resurfacings in close relation to the shifting memorial landscapes of the conflict in Algeria and in France. While scholarship on the memorial legacy of the Algerian War of Independence has tended to assign collective memories to specific groups, the archive-based practices discussed in this thesis flesh out the tentative nature of such clear-cut delineations. They reveal that historical photographs articulate a range of possible subjectivities which become foregrounded based on the specific, and ever-shifting, needs of the present.

Research interests

Photography; Modern and Contemporary Art; Postcolonial theory; Archives; War Photography; Middle East and North Africa; Circulation of Images


  • ‘Violent Erasures: Atrocity, Photographic Archives and the Algerian War of Independence (1954-62)’, Object: Graduate Research and Reviews in The History of Art and Visual Culture (2017), pp. 7-28. Reprinted in Stains/Les Taches: Communication and Contamination in French and Francophone Literature and Culture, eds. Zoe Angelis and Blake Gutt (Oxford and New York: Peter Lang, 2019), pp. 107-130.
  • Review of Future Imperfect. Contemporary Art Practice and Cultural Institutions in the Middle East, ed. Anthony Downey (Berlin: Sternberg Press, 2016), in Journal of Arabian Studies, volume 7, 2017, pp. 119-121.

Conference papers and talks

  • 'Mohamed Kouaci and the Photographic Infrastructures of the Algerian Revolution', 'Photobook Africa. Tracing Stories and Imagery' Conference, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, 19 February 2020
  • 'Archives of the Algerian Revolution, Visual Remediations and the Making of Photographic Heritage', College Art Association Annual Conference, Chicago, 15 February 2020
  • 'Photography's Routes: Revisiting the Visual Cultures of the Algerian War of Independence', American University of Beirut, 27 August 2019
  • 'Filming the Revolution after its End: Zineb Sedira's Image Keepers (2010)', Kolloquium zur Kunst Afrikas, Freie Universität Berlin, 9 July 2019
  • 'Figuring Women: Marc Garanger's Return to Algeria and the Collapse of Temporal Borders', Liminal Borders: Constructing and Deconstructing Borders in World History, University of Cambridge, 17-18 May 2019
  • 'Extending the Photographic Encounter: Agency and Identity in Marc Garanger's Retour en Algérie (2004/2007)', Memory and Borders: Examining Identity and Nationalism through Material Culture, Victoria and Albert Museum, 11 February 2019
  • 'Framing Bodies and Battlefields: The Politics of Marc Garanger's Return to Algeria in 2004', AAH 'New Voices' Conference (Art and Conflict), The University of Edinburgh, 9 November 2018
  • 'Mohamed Kouaci's Practice, and its Afterlives', Work-in-progress talk, John W. Kluge Center, Library of Congress, Washington, DC, 30 August 2018
  • 20th French Graduate Conference, Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge, 27 May 2016


  • Second-place winner of Apexart Curatorial Program (NYC Open Call)
  • DAAD Research Grant, Department of African Art, Freie Universität Berlin (2019)
  • Research fellowship at the John W. Kluge Center, Library of Congress, Washington DC (2018). Awarded by the International Placement Scheme, AHRC.
  • LAHP Studentship (2015-2019)
  • Edgar Wind Scholarship (2014-2015)
  • Dean's Prize (2014)

Research Activities


  • Autumn Term 2016: Teaching Assistant for Histories of Photography (Dr. Stephanie Schwartz)
  • Spring Terms 2018-2020: Course Tutor for Modern and Contemporary Art in London
  • 2020: Histories of Modern and Contemporary Art in North Africa (with Professor Jessica Gerschultz), Centre d’Études Maghrébines à Tunis (CEMAT)
  • 2020: Mentorship of Andrew W. Mellon Fellows (with Professor Jessica Gerschultz and Professor Nadia Jelassi), CEMAT

Other Experience

  • Secondment with Public Programmes, Tate Modern (2016-2017)
  • Researcher, Jewish Museum, London (2016)
  • Curatorial Intern, Hamburger Bahnhof Museum, Berlin (2013)