Fri, 12 Apr 2019, 12:30
The Graduate Institute, Geneva (SUI), Auditorium A2, Maison de la Paix, Chemin Eugène-Rigot 2, 1202 Genève, Switzerland
Lunchtime discussion at the Graduate Institute
At this lunchtime event, Donatella Della Ratta will be launching her new essay entitled: “Shooting a Revolution: Visual Media and Warfare in Syria” (Pluto Press, 2018). Donatella Della Ratta, former Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Annenberg School for Communication, Pennsylvania University, and Affiliate of the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University, is a scholar, writer, performer, and curator specializing in Arab media and cultures. Following the presentation, the floor will be opened to Q&A from the public.
From ISIS propaganda videos to popular regime-backed TV series and digital activism, the Syrian conflict has been dramatically affected by the production of media, at the same time generating in its turn an impressive visual culture. Yet what are the aesthetic, political and material implications of the collusion between the production of this sheer amount of visual media being continuously shared and re-manipulated on the Internet, and the performance of the conflict on the ground? Della Ratta’s ethnography uses the Syrian case to reflect more broadly on how the networked age reshapes contemporary warfare and impacts on the enactment of violence through images and on images. In stark contrast to the techno-utopias celebrating digital democracy and participatory cultures, Donatella Della Ratta’s analysis exposes the dark side of online practices, where visual regimes of representation and media production dramatically intertwine with modes of destruction and the performance of violence. Exploring the most socially-mediated conflict of contemporary times, she offers a fascinating insight into the transformation of warfare and life in the age of the internet.