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Imageandpeace.com wishes Happy Holidays!

This year has seen shocking and devastating developments on a global scale. The Russian war against Ukraine certainly affected our attempts of comprehending international affairs, and advancing peace more broadly appears rather illusionary in these times. When one year comes to an end – especially such a calamitous one – the hopes for the next year to bring better news are high.

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Exhibition Review: Currency – Photography Beyond Capture

What happens after Cartier-Bresson’s decisive moment? Photographic images, this exhibition argues, “fundamentally shape acts of seeing and being seen.” Serving as “contextual frames for narrative invention,” photographs define to some extent what qualifies as knowledge. Photography produces knowledge but also confirms established ways of knowledge production by operating within established frames and conventions. In contrast, Currency – Photography Beyond Capture “looks at how … practitioners have challenged the meaning and value of photographic images and investigated the extended lives, temporalities, and materialities of image cultures beyond the moment of capture.”

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Guest contribution by Daniel Beck and Morgane Desoutter: Visual Peace in Kurdish Cinema

Kurdish cinema is often considered a typical case of ‘cinemas of conflict’ (Smets 2014) and in the common understanding, the Kurds themselves are generally associated with the idea of conflict. In our blog contribution1 we argue that films can offer views on Kurdish life outside of conflicts and thus contribute to peace. Our article examined how four Turkish–Kurdish films (Kilamek Ji Bo Beko, Güneşi Gördüm, Min Dît-The Children of Diyarbakır, and Meş) understand and represent the Kurdish Question, the Kurdish self, and the opposing other and how this influences the scope of plausible political behaviour. We highlight how both visualizations of negative and positive peace are present in the films, but also in what the films enable and produce. 

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Exhibition review – Susan Meiselas: Mediations

Alex Danchev and Debbie Lisle observed some years ago that ‘many artists are highly sophisticated analysts of the international sphere’ (2009, 775). In our recent article on appropriation as a method for visual analysis of the international, we therefore suggest understanding the scholar as image-maker and the image-maker as scholar (Möller, Bellmer, and Saugmann 2021).

A good example of the image-maker as scholar is Susan Meiselas whose work can currently be seen in the impressive retrospective Susan Meiselas: Mediations at C׀O Berlin (see also Meiselas 2018) covering a 50-year career.

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