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IDSEMUG 2045 - Photographing Peace

This seminar asks, “What does peace look like?”What are the visual narratives of post-conflict societies, and how do they conform to or complicate our generalized notions and expectations around what “peace” means? Taking into account a history of war photography, and the uses of such imagery in journalism and by humanitarian NGOs, we explore the impact of persistently negative visual narratives of countries or regions as we contemplate the value of “peace photography.” This seminar examines how the camera can be used to document and reframe received narratives. We study four post-conflict countries (Nicaragua, Bosnia, Rwanda, and Colombia), delving into bodies of postwar photographic documentation; we look at each country on its own and also compare countries to see if there are “tropes of peace.” Such tropes can have global ramifications, affecting geopolitics, humanitarian endeavor, and, as we’ll see, they play out on a highly personal level as well. Students write analytic papers as well as produce visual projects, and our texts cover journalistic, sociological, historical, and human rights studies while spanning photographic, written, and filmic forms. Guest speakers, photographers who have covered war and/or peace, will deepen our conversations. Class Notes: This course may be combined with a 2-unit, competitive internship arranged by Gallatin. Internship information will be forthcoming. Add Consent: Department Consent Required.
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Spring 2021, Spring 2020
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