Eduardo Cadava

27-31 May 2024

About the workshop


Memory burns

Taking its point of departure from Anne Carson’s lovely description of photographs as “memory burns”—as images that sear memories and events onto their surface but that also burn and destroy them at the same time—this intensive five-day workshop will move between texts and photographs in order to think about the role and place of images within mnemonic processes but also within our everyday lives.

We will consider texts by the poet Charles Baudelaire, the photographer Felix Nadar, the novelist Marcel Proust, the cultural critic Siegfried Kracauer, and the philosopher Jacques Derrida, and photographs by, among others, Susan Meiselas, Fazal Sheikh, Joan Fontcuberta, and Isaac Julien. We will be interested not only in explicit discussions of photography—of which there will be many—but also in the ways in which these texts again and again have recourse to the language of photography. For these writers and thinkers, photography provides an entire vocabulary for what Proust calls “the optics of the mind”: the flashes of insight and intuition, the light and shadows that enable and interrupt perception, the workings of memory as it tries to seize or fix an image, and in general the various ways in which we perceive or represent the world around us. We will also try to account for recurring motifs within this history. Why is it, for example, that many of these texts associate photography with meditations on the relations between death and memory? What is it about death and memory that enables us to think about photography? Why do figures of photography so often call forth hallucinations, ghosts, and phantoms? In what way is citation within a literary text a photographic event? Guided by these questions, we will throughout try to think about the relation between vision and language, images and history, and memory and forgetting—searching for a language that may enable us to think more deeply, and collectively, about what a photographic image is.

The workshop will provide us with a lexicon with which to think about the practice of photography—about what it means to see and think photographically, about what it means to create and read a photograph, and about how to imagine photographic projects. Participants are encouraged to bring to the workshop previous “finished” work, projects-in-progress, or ideas about future projects. We will explore the working practices and processes that match most closely each participant’s ideas and desires.



5 days



Open for applications

1 – 12 – 2023

Early bird price

800e until 15 -3 -2024 (price include vat, daily breakfast and 2 dinners)

Normal price

(price include vat, daily breakfast and 2 dinners)

Submission's deadline

14 April 2024




Fees will be payed in two installments.
A 50% deposit by bank transfer is required once you have been accepted in the workshop, (you will be notified by email) and the remaining 50% must be deposited 10 days before the submission deadline. Early bird admissions are limited and places will be sold in a first come basis.

Eduardo Cadava

Eduardo Cadava is Philip Mayhew Professor of English at Princeton University. He is the author of Words of Light: Theses on the Photography of History, Emerson and the Climates of History, Paper Graveyards, and, with Sara Nadal-Melsió, Politically Red. He has co-edited Who Comes After the Subject?, Cities Without Citizens, and The Itinerant Languages of Photography. He also has introduced and co-translated Nadar’s memoirs, Quand j’étais photographe, which appeared under the title When I Was a Photographer, and has curated installations and exhibitions at the MAXXI Museum, the Slought Foundation, Storefront for Art and Architecture, the Al-Ma’mal Center for Contemporary Art, and the Princeton University Art Museum. He is co-directing, with Eyal Weizman, a multiyear project on the relation between political conflict and climate change titled Conflict Shorelines that includes field work in Amazonia, the Negev desert, and the Arctic, and collaborating with Fazal Sheikh on a project titled Exposure that is documenting the ruination of the Utah landscape by uranium mining and oil and gas drilling and the consequences of this ruination on native communities.
Eduardo_Cadava_The Palm Tree Workshops


In order to apply for a placement in the workshop, please send us a zip file with:
1) a short cv,  2) up to 10 images (jpg format, maximum size 1024p, 72dpi) and  3) a statement.

You can send them via email:

please fill in the form below:

Terms and conditions

  • There is a limited number of spaces on the workshop, the places will be sold on a first come basis.
  • We reserve the right to cancel this event when we do not reach the minimum number of participants. In the unlikely event of cancellation, participants will be given at least 1-week advance notice and a full refund.
  • If you decide to cancel for any reason, and notify us at least 40 days before the starting day of the workshop, we will reimburse all fees. After that time frame, you will lose your deposit.
  • The workshop fee does not include transport, accommodation or ground expenses.
  • Every participant has to bring it’s own equipment (camera and laptop).

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