Unravelling Syrian Perpetrators in Audio-Visual Materials
The Syrian uprising and ensuing civil war have seen an unprecedented proliferation of visual material. Syria is the first conflict ever that is broadcast online in real time. These clips range from short videos containing battleground shootings between armed groups, to carefully constructed reports of entire military campaigns, from planning to execution and aftermath. The worst cases are photographs and footage of violence that can be considered crimes against humanity: shootings beatings, torture, bombardments, executions and mass killings. These kinds of shots are of fundamental importance for studying mass violence and the role of perpetrators therein; first of all, because this type of footage is rare and often unique, and second, because those who commit the crimes are prominently visible. This presentation will examine the cacophony of images produced by the Syrian conflict, in order to analyze the content of these audio-visual materials in a way that is intellectually and ethically responsible.