Post-digital Epistemologies of the Photographic Image (PEPI)

The research project examines the truthfulness of the photographic image.


The truthfulness of the photograph has long been one of the most debated issues in the photography. In current media society, it is still a questions which raises heated debates in the field of photo journalism, for example. 

PEPI consortium examines the epistemologies of the photographic image from three closely related perspectives. 

First, they will scrutinise the psychological processes by which people make judgements regarding the truthfulness of photographs. Second, they will concentrate on ‘fake news’ visuals and their reception. Third, they will address the question of the veracity of the photographic image in light of photographic aesthetics.

The consortium and researchers

The multidisciplinary consortium combines journalism/media studies, experimental psychology and artistic research. The consortium consist of the University of the Arts Helsinki (the Academy of Fine Arts), the University of Helsinki (COMET research centre) and the University of Tampere (Visual Cognition Research Group). 

The principal investigator for the University of the Arts Helsinki’s sub project is professor Mika Elo from the Academy of Fine Arts. Post doc researcher Tuula Närhinen from the Academy of Fine Arts works in the project. The principal investigator for the whole project is Janne Seppänen from the University of Tampere. The research project is funded by the Academy of Finland (2019-2022).