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IPP Workshop Series: Sapir Huberman: Framing War, Conflict and Violence: Approaches to the Photographic Gaze

When Jan 30, 2019
from 02:00 to 04:00
Where Phil I, Building B, R.025
Contact Name
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Framing War, Conflict and Violence: Approaches to the Photographic Gaze


"The act of representing others almost always involves violence to the subject of

representation.” Edward Said, In the Shadow of the West


Since the invention of photography, modern life has been characterized by the countless possibilities to look at the atrocities that occur in the world. On the one hand, documenting horrors is perceived as humanitarian and innocent, but on the other hand as a visual operator of contemporary imperialism, neo-colonial capitalism and neoliberal regimes of control. Nowadays, especially in the era of digital photography and the proliferation of circulating images, it becomes even more crucial to analyze the position of the photographers, the subjected to be looked at and us, the beholders. The way we understand and read photography, or develop relationships towards the participants in the photographic act, influences our gaze on those images - the relation of seeing and being seen between objects and subjects. Although the concept of the gaze appears in various disciplines such as psychoanalysis, gender studies, postcolonial studies, and communication studies, in this workshop, we will focus mostly on how the gaze comes into play in the practice of photography of atrocities, and what the different critical approaches to photographing such events are.


We will analyze several photographic works. Some of them are used as examples for the orientalist, exoticized imagery gaze, while others, such as Sekula's Waiting for Tear Gas (1999), intend to disturb the known visual rhetoric of representing atrocities and suggest a more transgressive practice. We will also refer to canonical writings such as John Berger's Ways of Seeing (1972), Susan Sontag's Regarding the Pain of Others (2003) and Butler's Frames of war (2009).

//Sapir Huberman


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