Visual Advocacy in the Early Decades of Humanitarian Cinema
testimonial function of the films in humanitarian publications and promotional material and discusses the idea that ‘seeing is believing’. Following on that, the link between visual evidence and affects is addressed, as humanitarian cinema allowed contact with suffering that was more intimate. Finally, the immediacy of the cinema technology and its induced immersive spectacle is analysed, to question the perceptual experience of the films’ settings with the production of eyewitness images and first-hand accounts during the screenings. The paper concludes by highlighting the
was burning when they arrived there. And the team included expatriates who I’ve talked to. Their faces changed. They had no idea. They hadn’t been out of Khartoum, all of those guys. It added quite a bit of credibility. This was an eyewitness account.
VG: Nowadays, it’s interesting to note that virtual reality is considered as ‘the ultimate empathy machine’. But why do we always focus on positive emotions? Advocacy is about pointing the finger to what doesn’t work, so it involves negative emotions: guilt, shame, blame, or outrage – you mentioned it as
Dead bodies, evidence and the death march from Buchenwald to Dachau, April–May 1945
Christopher E. Mauriello
This article utilises the theoretical perspectives of the forensic turn to further expand our historical understandings and interpretations of the events of the Holocaust. More specifically, it applies a theory of the materialities of dead bodies to historically reconstruct and reinterpret the death march from Buchenwald to Dachau from 7 to 28 April 1945. It focuses on dead bodies as ‘evidence’, but explores how the evidential meanings of corpses along the death-march route evolved and changed during the march itself and in the aftermath of discovery by approaching American military forces. While drawing on theories of the evidential use of dead bodies, it remains firmly grounded in empirical historical research based on archival sources. The archives at the Buchenwald Concentration Camp contain eyewitness accounts and post-war trial testimony that enable a deeply contextualised ‘microhistory’ of the geography, movements, perpetrators, victims and events along this specific death march in April and May 1945. This ‘thick description’ provides the necessary context for a theoretical reading of the changing evidential meanings of dead bodies as the death march wove its way from Buchenwald to Dachau and the war and the Holocaust drew to an end.
-makers that revolve around the present
challenges of humanitarian communication. The Canadian photographer Stéphanie
Colvey, who has worked with various humanitarian and development agencies, shares her
insights into photographing people on the move. 3 MSF’s Maria Guevara, Senior Operational Positioning
and Advocacy Advisor, and Marc DuBois, former Head of Humanitarian Affairs Department,
discuss the idea of ‘speaking out’ and its entanglements with
témoignage and eyewitness strategies. Rainer
Interpreting Violence on Healthcare in the Early Stage of the South
Sudanese Civil War
Xavier Crombé and Joanna Kuper
was with the group was spared.
Among the victims were the accountant of the hospital employed by the Ministry of
Health; one person identified as Dinka; and five Nuer people, including one woman.
Local Nuer witnesses said that, although they were scared, ‘We thought we
were safe because we are Nuer and it is the rebels that are taking the town’.
The protection expected from this shared identity may explain why interpretations
varied among eyewitnesses interviewed by MSF
groups like HRW and Amnesty International ordinarily falls somewhere between journalism and academic research. While journalists are generally looking for things that make a good story, particularly the extraordinary, human rights researchers are more interested in patterns of abuse, avoiding focus on one-time incidents or actions outside the ordinary. In my experience researching and writing reports for HRW, emphasis is placed on gathering eyewitness accounts and ensuring that published claims are always based on more than one account. HRW, FIDH and Amnesty do not
colony from the perspective of an impartial
eye-witness’ (22), raised ethical questions that remain relevant. Curtis
Harrowing scenes of human torment, [Hawthorne] implied, stimulated the
viewers’ emotions in ways that some found disquieting. Was titillation an
effective and moral means of stirring up sympathy for sufferers in far-off
places? Did photographs of ‘utterly destitute and helpless’ people
denouncing grave and ignored crimes such as the
bombing of civilians, attacks on hospitals or diversion of humanitarian
aid’ (La Mancha Agreement).
Point 1.9 of the La Mancha Agreement notes that ‘in the case of
massive and neglected acts of violence against individuals and groups, we
should speak out publicly, based on our eyewitness accounts, medical data
Elizabeth Vandiver, Ralph Keen, and Thomas D. Frazel
We have only two substantial eyewitness accounts of the life of Martin Luther.
Best known is a 9,000-word Latin memoir by Philip Melanchthon published
in Latin at Heidelberg in 1548, two years after the Reformer’s death.1 In 1561,
‘Henry Bennet, Callesian’ translated this pamphlet into English; the martyrologist John Foxe adopted Bennet’s text into his Memorials verbatim, including
a number of the Englisher’s mistranslations. For example, where Melanchthon
wrote that Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door of the Castle
(in many cases, of course, they were the same people). In The
triumphs of truth, for instance, Middleton uses the relatively capacious South yard of St Paul’s as the setting for a battle between
Error (in a chariot) and Envy (on a rhinoceros) with Truth in her
chariot, accompanied by Zeal, whereas at the crowded riverside at
Barnard’s Castle only two ﬁgures appear, both on horseback rather
than on an unwieldy pageant wagon or chariot.
‘To dazle and amaze the common Eye’: eyewitnesses of the Shows
The Lord Mayor’s Show was a renowned spectacle that drew