Emancipation and Collaboration: A Critical Examination of Human Rights Video Advocacy.

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  • Author(s): Ginsburg, Ruthie
  • Source:
    Theory, Culture & Society. May2021, Vol. 38 Issue 3, p51-70. 20p.
  • Additional Information
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    • Abstract:
      This article explores the relationship between political freedom and collaboration in the work of human rights organizations. I focus here on the ethical and political implications involved in the production of evidence once the documenting tool, the camera, is in the hands of an engaged civilian rather than a bystander, such as a photojournalist. By examining cases in the Occupied Palestinian Territories where the Palestinians are the photographers of human rights violations, I outline the relations and tensions between emancipatory acts and collaboration via visual information production. Human rights organizations laud new technology and celebrate the participation of those afflicted by such violations in knowledge production as a form of empowerment, and those afflicted may experience the visual practice as a mode of self-representation. But inevitably such a practice is based on collaborative action. In the Israeli/Palestinian conflict case study below, such collaboration has negative effects, which impinge upon the emancipatory features of this mode of documenting. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
    • Abstract:
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