“Spectral Power: Cameras in Conflict Zones” by Liat Berdugo


  • ©, Liat Berdugo, Spectral Power: Cameras in Conflict Zones

Title:


    Spectral Power: Cameras in Conflict Zones

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    Short film

Artist Statement:


    Recently, visual studies scholars have turned toward conflict studies and proposed an examination of conflict through vision, itself. This radical approach means asking questions of how we see a conflict, visually — in place of how media might have re-represented what “really happened.” Such scholarship is only the first step in understanding the role, implications, and conditions of newly weaponized cameras in conflict zones. Since 2013, Berdugo has been researching the use of cameras in Israel/Palestine, and has gained unprecedented access to a video archive in the region (note that a distinguishing feature of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the freedom to record).

    This work traces the emergence of direct camera face-offs between Palestinian cameras and Israeli cameras — a trend Berdugo calls “shooting back at shooting back,” and which she has collected into numerous video pieces. This talk also analyzes how conflicts produce an inequality of visual rights , including rights to see and rights to be seen; rights to look and to surveil; rights to be out of sight; and rights to have one’s image circulated, posted, and trusted.


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