In addition to eyewitness accounts and written texts or documents, photography serves as a key medium through which acts of perpetration become known. Photographic images of perpetrators and their acts are produced for different purposes (documentation, evidence, self-promotion, propaganda plus re-enactment) and come to us from different sources (journalists, victims, the perpetrators themselves, documents, archives, government agencies, etc.). But they all contribute to shaping the way that we see and think about perpetrators and perpetration: the historical and cultural imaginary is saturated with images, some of which acquire iconic status. It especially feeds the belief that photos show a real act or some kind of reality. We seriously have to include the critical question, how or if at all “real” photos are. This means that perpetrator studies must think very carefully and critically about how photography is used, not only in the media but also in academic scholarship, at sites of memory, and in educational practice.
This conference aims to consider the past, present, and future uses of photography of and by perpetrators of mass violence, genocide, and other forms of political violence. We invite contributions from scholars working in the fields of history, sociology, anthropology, political science, literary and cultural studies, media studies, philosophy, law, criminology, religious studies, etc. as well as curators, educators, journalists, and other practitioners whose work intersects with the question of perpetration and the uses of photography. We will explore the questions and problems that arise in the context of photography of/by perpetrators in the media, public discourse, in cultural representations, at sites of memory, as well as in education and academic scholarship.
For more information or questions, please contact Mrs. Isabelle Diependaele
+32 (0)15 28 86 35