Video evidence of apparent injustice is often treated as incontrovertible. But sometimes, as advocates say, it 'doesn't work.'
The first trial of Rodney King's assailants seems to be a good example: pioneering citizen video of police brutality and 'yet' an acquittal. Looking back after many years, in the age of Black Lives Matter, how do we understand the forensic function of televisual or citizen video? We cannot take its 'working' for granted -- there is always work for us to do with it. Claims need to be made *with* images. Examining three compelling readings of the King tape (Felman, Butler, Ronell), we'll look at the limits and possibilities of making claims for human rights with videotape.
Eyal Weizman responds in suggesting that the recent Elor Azaria case offers a contemporary version of the King tape, albeit with much a different outcome.
Thomas Keenan teaches literary theory and human rights at Bard College, where he directs the Human Rights Project. He is the author of Fables of Responsibility: Abberations and Predicaments in Ethics and Politics (Stanford University Press, 1997) and co-editor, with Wendy Chun, of New Media, Old Media: A History and Theory Reader (Routledge, 2006). He published, with Eyal Weizman, Mengele’s Skull (Sternberg, 2012), and more recently articles on photography and counter-forensics, Cold War humanitarianism, and human rights and the missionary tradition.
Dates & times
|16 Jan 2017||3:00pm - 5:00pm|
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