Message posted on 13/10/2021

CFP Disturbing Images

Dear Colleagues,

Please consider submitting a paper to the CFP below, as part of the RAI Medical Anthropology Conference Mobilising Methods in Medical Anthropology. The submission is October 25th.

With best wishes,


Alice Tilche

Lecturer in Anthropology and Museum Studies

Disturbing images: understanding the visualisation of suffering during the Covid-19 pandemic

Short Abstract:

This panel interrogates representations of suffering during the pandemic, the relationships of visibility/invisibility that obliterate certain kinds of suffering and its memory, and the ethical concerns that underlie the production of images.

Long Abstract

Globally, the Covid-19 pandemic is being imaged and imagined through diverse ways and media. These images do not only exist in the realm of representation but have structuring effects on the unfolding and experience of the pandemic. Social media has emerged as a powerful tool for spreading (mis)information. However, it has also been key to the articulation of political society, through which communities act collectively, generate information, intervene in the public sphere and make claims of the state. This panel invites contributions focussed on understanding the visualisation of a range of different forms of suffering during the pandemic and its attendant reconfigurations of the social, economic and political spheres. In particular, we seek to understand how communities have been receiving and mobilising images. The panel will focus on understanding representations of suffering within images themselves and disturbing the political order of images the relationships of visibility / invisibility that obliterate certain kinds of suffering and its memory. In the context of the democratisation of the ability to produce images we will revisit the child and vulture debate, asking: what are the material, or ethical concerns that underlie the making of images during the pandemic? How are debates on the ethics of visuality reconfigured when a community itself is involved in the production, consumption and circulation of images? This panel is instigated by a collaborative visual art and research project that has been producing videos on the experiences of some of the most marginalised populations in India during the pandemic.

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