The Stereoscopic Eye

Inessential views of art and photography.

Visual Scholarship against CAGES: RABIA TIERNA

Today #IVSA2018 started in Evry with a dialogue/keynote of four visual sociologists, two from France and two from the USA. Among the themes discussed, the ethos and aims of the discipline came again under scrutiny. Someone in the audience asked whether we could direct our lenses towards the rich and powerful in order to reveal the coldness of their disregard for humanity as such and their interest in the human as merely fixed capital (in a Marxist sense).

Although the recent migration policy in the USA wasn’t mentioned, I could not stop thinking how the work of visual sociologists walks the line between offering a platform to those who would otherwise not have it, and using those voices to advance scholarly knowledge. This ethical question is something I find deeply troubling and unanswered/unanswerable. In my view, we shall turn the lens, every now and then, to ourselves. In doing so, we revert the experience, force ourselves to grow empathycally, use our bodies as subjects of research and attain some sense of connection with the soul of our well intended research aims at large. In the midst of letters, opinion pieces, facts and figures disseminated in response to #POTUS instigated family separations, Adela C. Licona and Eithne Luibheid turn the lens to themselves, to ourselves, as a way to recover a bit of that human condition that we seem to be rapidly losing.

“[A]n outcry of collective outrage, thus far, consists of 63 crowd-sourced participant childhood photos assembled as paper doll cutouts and printed on card stock (up to 13” in height and 19” in width depending on image quality and composition). Cutouts will recall for viewers that we have all been children.”



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This entry was posted on June 25, 2018 by in Art Photography.

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