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Cruel Radiance Photography and Political Violence

ISBN-10: 0226482510
ISBN-13: 9780226482514
Edition: 2012
Authors: Susie Linfield
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Description: InThe Cruel Radiance, Susie Linfield challenges the idea that photographs of political violence exploit their subjects and pander to the voyeuristic tendencies of their viewers. Instead she argues passionately that looking at such images—and  More...

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Book details

List price: $20.00
Copyright year: 2012
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication date: 4/15/2012
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 344
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.100
Language: English

InThe Cruel Radiance, Susie Linfield challenges the idea that photographs of political violence exploit their subjects and pander to the voyeuristic tendencies of their viewers. Instead she argues passionately that looking at such images—and learning toseethe people in them—is an ethically and politically necessary act that connects us to our modern history of violence and probes the human capacity for cruelty. Grappling with critics from Walter Benjamin and Bertolt Brecht to Susan Sontag and the postmoderns—and analyzing photographs from such events as the Holocaust, China’s Cultural Revolution, and recent terrorist acts—Linfield explores the complex connection between photojournalism and the rise of human rights ideals. In the book’s concluding section, she examines the indispensable work of Robert Capa, James Nachtwey, and Gilles Peress and asks how photography should respond to the increasingly nihilistic trajectory of modern warfare.A bracing and unsettling book,The Cruel Radianceconvincingly demonstrates that if we hope to alleviate political violence, we must first truly understand it—and to do that, we must begin to look.

List of Figures
Preface: The Black Book
Polemics
A Little History of Photography Criticism; or, Why Do Photography Critics Hate Photography?
Photojournalism and Human Rights: The Calamity of the Kodak
Places
Warsaw, Lodz, Auschwitz: In the Waiting Room of Death
China: From Malraux's Dignity to the Red Guards' Shame
Sierra Leone: Beyond the Sorrow and the Pity
Abu Ghraib and the Jihad: The Dance of Civilizations
People
Robert Capa: The Optimist
James Nachtwey: The Catastrophist
Gilles Peress: The Skeptic
Acknowledgments
Notes
Bibliography
Index

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