The Photographs of Zygmunt Bauman: Book Launch

  • DATE

    6 July 2023

  • TIME

    6:00 pm to 7:15 pm

  • AGES

    All ages welcome



An introduction by Janet Wolff to her new co-edited book (with Peter Beilharz) from Manchester University Press on the black and white photography of postmodern sociologist Zygmunt Bauman.

Zygmunt Bauman is known internationally as the sociologist of postmodernity and ‘liquid’ society. But he was also a serious photographer. This book presents a selection of his black-and-white photographs, together with a range of essays by colleagues, friends and family about his work with images.

The book features a mixture of short pieces on individual photographs and longer essays addressing aspects of Bauman’s photography and the life and work of his wife, Janina. These include an essay of Bauman’s from 1989, in which he considers Monika Krajewska’s photographs of abandoned Jewish graveyards in Poland. Also reprinted is an essay by Bauman’s daughter Lydia, taken from the catalogue of an exhibition of the photographs in 2010, and an essay by Keith Tester about Bauman’s interest in film. Jack Palmer discusses the relationship between Bauman’s sociology and his photography, while Peter Beilharz, Janet Wolff, and Antony Bryant and Griselda Pollock offer personal reflections on some of Bauman’s photographs. The book concludes with an essay by Karl Dudman, one of the Baumans’ grandchildren, based on a series of photographs he took in the family home shortly after his grandfather’s death.

Janina Bauman appears in a number of ways in the book. Some of the photographs are of her, and several of the short essays discuss her place in Zygmunt’s life and work. Izabela Wagner, biographer of Zygmunt Bauman, presents new material on Janina’s work in the Polish film industry in the post-war period.