Abstract

This essay explores assumptions that underpin discourses on atrocity photographs, including the idea that images objectify photographed subjects or traumatize viewers. The essay analyzes the unexamined ideas that construct these assumptions, in particular the affective investment in the concept of human dignity as an image of invulnerability. Arguments about atrocity photographs pit important if recent concepts of photography’s ostensibly transformative if vexed political function to “bear witness” against an aversion to the display of violated human dignity whose sources are psychic and cultural.

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Additional Information

ISSN
2151-4372
Print ISSN
2151-4364
Pages
pp. 239-264
Launched on MUSE
2015-07-23
Open Access
No
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