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Wednesday 4 October 2017

Duschene 209, 1–1:50pm

Professor Eamon Carrabine, University of Essex

Traces of Violence: Representing the Atrocities of War

This paper explores the relationships between war and representation through the use of visual images, and takes a cue from the French cultural theorist Paul Virilio, who has written extensively on the militarisation of vision in ways that have yet to be fully recognised in criminology. It then outlines some of the disputes surrounding documentary photography, not least since one of the main factors driving the development of the medium was the desire to record warfare, before turning to recent efforts to reconfigure the violence of representation by focusing on what has been termed ‘aftermath photography’, where practitioners deliberately adopt an anti-reportage position, slowing down the image-making process and arriving well after the decisive moment. This more contemplative strategy challenges the oversimplification of much photojournalism and the paper concludes by reflecting on how military-turned-consumer technologies are structuring our everyday lives in more and more pervasive ways.