Spin Wars - Syria and the dangers of 'Activist Truth'
The truth has always been the first casualty of conflict, but James Harkin argues that the electronic fog of war, together with an evolving three-way tussle for hearts and minds between the West, Russia and international jihadism, has created a dangerous new information battlefield. Illustrating his talk with the famous legend of a revolutionary singer who was alleged killed by Syrian regime forces in the Summer of 2011, he shows how the new information sausages are made, and argues that we’re now stranded between three alternative kinds of truth – the ‘activist truth’ weaponised by pro-Western protesters, the ‘alternative truth’ peddled by Russia and much of the alternative media, and the universal truth claims of jihadist media which offer themselves as a powerfully universal alternative to both.
James Harkin is Director of the Centre for Investigative Journalism at Goldsmiths. He’s a journalist who writes about social change and political conflict for Vanity Fair, Harper’s, GQ, The Smithsonian, Prospect, and The Guardian. A former director of talks at the Institute for Contemporary Arts (ICA), he once taught politics at Oxford University, and was associate producer on Adam Curtis’s two BBC series The Trap and All Watched Over By Machines of Loving Grace. For the last five years, he’s been reporting on the Syrian conflict from all sides; his last book Hunting Season was published in November 2015 by Little, Brown.
James Harkin's lecture is part of the Goldsmiths MFA Post Graduate Talks Series.
Series 1.2: The Truth, Again.
Dates & times
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|13 Nov 2017||5:30pm - 7:00pm|
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