PHOTOGRAPHY AND THE RIGHT TO LIFE Activestills’ and Anne Paq’s "Obliterated Families" Project

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The essay focuses on the repurposing of family photography in the project “Obliterated Families” by Activestills collective photographer Anne Paq. In this project, Paq rephotographed photographs of family members who were killed in Israel’s air strikes in Gaza in 2014 at the actual bombed sites. The essay analyzes “Obliterated Families” as a project of visual activism and traces its different modes of dissemination and circulation as part of an effort to solicit a “public” for it. The mobilization of familial imagery is meant to disturb the circulation of affective responses in the Israeli public sphere by politically “presencing” those “whose lives are not regarded as lives worth saving and defending,” as Judith Butler argues. Through this project, the essay reconsiders the relations between photographic practices and the concept of universality as it pertains to a politics of human rights in light of the privatization of citizenship under neoliberal rationality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)329-352
Number of pages24
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2 Sep 2019


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