Testimonial Encounters and Tempering the Celebratory Narrative
This book has explored the role of screen media—film, video, and Internet—in constructing the popular, political, and legal imaginary of genocide and human rights. It has shown that it is not the mere fact of visuality that catalyzes the chain reaction of exposure, revelation, and justice; rather, the processes and players of visuality generate a testimonial encounter from a spectacle of suffering, and that intertextual and extrafilmic practices help ferry the responsibility of witnessing publics into political action. Strategically deployed aesthetic and formal elements—themselves drawn from visual traditions, popular film, and historical and social contexts—anchor the meaning of the atrocity display and produce ethical claims. These rhetorical choices rely on the circuits that relay the visual material, circuits comprising producers, distributors, venues, and, most importantly, audiences. The programs and activities designed around screenings are crucial in channeling emotional and ethical claimst into action.
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