History of Art


Katarzyna Falęcka


Katarzyna Falecka graduated from the Courtauld Institute of Art with a BA in the History of Art and was awarded The Dean's Prize for an outstanding dissertation. She completed a MA in the History of Art and Visual Culture (Distinction) at Worcester College, University of Oxford where she was recipient of the Edgar Wind Scholarship. Her doctoral research is supervised by Professor Tamar Garb and funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. She was involved in the production of the 'The End of the 20th Century. The Best is Yet to Come' exhibition and catalogue at the Hamburger Bahnhof Museum, Berlin in 2013, where she assisted Professor Eugen Blume. She also worked as researcher for the Jewish Museum London and completed a Secondment with Public Programmes, Tate.


Archival Returns: The Photographic Cultures of the Algerian War of Independence (1954-62) and their Afterlives in Contemporary Art

The thesis explores the ways in which photographers and artists have engaged with photographic archives from colonial Algeria, with a focus on visualisations of conflict produced during the Algerian War of Independence (1954-62). The research aims to address key problems in archives understood as contested sites which delineate the ways in which history and memory can be transmitted. By tracing the 'afterlives' of selected war imagery in contemporary visual cultures, the thesis seeks to uncover the political, social and cultural motivations behind these resurfacings in close relation to shifting historical narratives in Algeria and in France. Selected case studies will open up larger questions surrounding the relationship between photography and the formation of national identities, and the role of images in challenging dominant historical narratives.

Research interests

Photography; Contemporary Art; Postcolonial theory; Archives; War Photography


'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, November 2017. Reprinted in Stains/Les Taches: Communication and Contamination in French and Francophone Literature and Culture, eds. Zoe Angelis and Blake Gutt (Oxford, New York: Peter Lang, 2019).

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

'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

'The Muslim Veil: Histories from Algeria', UCL Festival of Culture, 8 June 2017

On air interview about the burqa bans, interviewed by Thabo Mdluli for POWER 98.7 radio (Johannesburg), 6 February 2017

'Manière de Voir: Seeing Algeria 50 Years after Independence', Postgraduate Research Seminar, UCL, 20 June 2016

20th French Graduate Conference, 27 May 2016, Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge, 27 May 2016


DAAD Research Grant, 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)

Research Activities

Transregional Academy: Narrative, Authority and Circulation in Archival Work. American University of Beirut, August/September 2019 (Participant)

Co-organiser (with Stephanie King) of the Decolonising History: Visualisations of Conflict in a 'Post-war' Europe conference, 18 March 2017, UCL (supported by the Centre for the Study of Contemporary Art, UCL)

Programmed and organised Contested Archives: Colonial Photography from Algeria (panel discussion), The Mosaic Rooms, London, 1 November 2016

Programmed Image Keepers (Zineb Sedira in conversation with Vassilis Oikonomopoulos), The Mosaic Rooms, 29 September 2016

Board member: Centre for the Study of Contemporary Art (CSCA), UCL

Deputy Editor at Object: Graduate Research and Reviews in the History of Art and Visual Culture, UCL (2016/2017)


Autumn Term 2016: Teaching Assistant for HART2011, Histories of Photography, led by Dr. Stephanie Schwartz

Spring Term 2018: Course Tutor for Art in London (19th and 20th century)

Spring Term 2019: Course Tutor, Modern and Contemporary Art in London (HART0020)