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September 2012, Week 4


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Fri, 28 Sep 2012 18:37:27 +0000
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
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Roger Hallas <[log in to unmask]>
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Zone Books has just published a mammoth book on the visual culture of nongovernmental activism, which has many contributions directly relevent to film, TV and digital media:

Sensible Politics: The Visual Culture of Nongovernmental Activism
edited by Meg Mclagan and Yates Mckee

Political acts are encoded in medial forms—feet marching on a street, punch holes on a card, images on live stream, tweets—that have force, shaping people as subjects and constituting the contours of what is sensible, legible, visible. Thus, these events define the terms of political possibility and create terrain for political actions.

Sensible Politics: The Visual Culture of Nongovernmental Activism considers the con- stitutive role played by aesthetic and performative techniques in the staging of claims by nongovernmental activists. Attending to political aesthetics means focusing not on a disembodied image that travels under the concept of art or visual culture, nor on a pre- formed domain of the political that seeks subsequent expression in medial form. Instead, it requires bringing the two realms together into the same analytic frame. Drawing on the work of a diverse group of contributors, from art historians, anthropologists, and political theorists to artists, filmmakers, and architects, Sensible Politics situates aesthetic forms within broader activist contexts and networks of circulation and in so doing offers critical insight into the practices of mediation whereby the political becomes manifest.

“Photographs, maps, videos, reports, charts, spaces, and bodies—these and many other material things assemble into what the editors of this remarkable volume call an ‘image-complex’ that conditions how we know what we know, and what we do with that knowledge. Sensible Politics is a practical, theoretical guide for thinking and acting in the aesthetico-political register that puts art and politics together with rigor, imagination, and urgency. For anyone concerned with these matters, this is not just an interesting book, or a useful book. It is a necessary book.”
—Reinhold Martin, author of Utopia’s Ghost: Architecture and Postmodernism, Again

“Sensible Politics seeks to attend to the dispersion of aesthetics across the multiple institutional and discursive networks and platforms that constitute political action in the present. And so it does! Sensible Politics confounds our current divisions of the aesthetic and the political and challenges scholars and activists —scholaractivists and activistscholars—to rethink the political potential of images as they are absorbed by the concrete apparatuses of contemporary regimes of governmentality.” —Elizabeth A. Povinelli, author of Economies of Abandonment: Social Belonging and Endurance in Late Liberalism

664 pp, 17 color/114 b&w images
ISBN 978-1-935408-24-6

Zone Books are distributed by the MIT Press.
Online at

Table of Contents:

part one: the persistence of photography
ariella azoulay
Regime-Made Disaster: On the Possibility of Nongovernmental Viewing
thomas keenan
Disappearances: On the Photographs of Trevor Paglen
eduardo cadava
Of Veils and Mourning: Fazal Sheikh’s Widowed Images
jaleh mansoor
Making Human Junk
roger hallas
Photojournalism, NGOs, and the New Media Ecology

part two: disobedient bodies, circulating images, archival traces
judith butler
Bodies in Alliance and the Politics of the Street
amahl bishara
Circulating the Stances of Liberation Politics: The Photojournalism of the Anti-Wall Protests
benjamin j. young
On Strike: Allan Sekula’s Waiting for Tear Gas
huma yusuf
The Convergence of Old and New Media during the Pakistan Emergency
hugh raffles
Holocaust in Your Face
negar azimi
Iran in Pictures: Social Suffering and Three Sets of Images
ann cvetkovich
Sex in an Epidemic as AIDS Archive Activism: An Interview with Jean Carlomusto
kendall thomas
Envisioning Abolition: Sex, Citizenship, and the Racial Imaginary of the Killing State
carrie lambert-beatty
Women, Waves, Web

part three: cinema, documentary, political effects
jonathan crary
Jean-Luc Godard, Histoire(s) du cinéma meg mclagan
Imagining Impact: Documentary Film and the Production of Political Effects
barbara abrash and meg mclagan
Granito: An Interview with Pamela Yates
barbara abrash and meg mclagan
State of Fear and Transitional Justice in Peru: A Case Study kirsten johnson
All Eyes
zeynep devrim gürsel
Following Coffee Futures: Reflections on Speculative Traditions and Visual Politics
part four: expanded architectures
felicity d. scott
yates mckee and meg mclagan
Forensic Architecture: An Interview with Eyal Weizman
alessandro petti, sandi hilal, and eyal weizman
The Morning After: Profaning Colonial Architecture
andrew herscher
Political Activism in Post-Yugoslavia: Heritage, Identity, Agency
yates mckee
How to Do Things with Space— Expanded Architecture and Nongovernmental Politics: An Interview with Laura Kurgan

part five: multiplying platforms
sam gregory
The Participatory Panopticon and Human Rights: WITNESS’s Experience Supporting Video Advocacy and Future Possibilities
sam gregory
Human Rights Made Visible: New Dimensions to Anonymity, Consent, and Intentionality
faye ginsburg
Indigenous Counterpublics: A Foreshortened History
leshu torchin
The White Band’s Burden: Humanitarian Synergy and the Make Poverty History Campaign
charles zerner
Honey in the City: Just Food’s Campaign to Legalize Beekeeping in New York City
liza johnson
The Market Is the Medium: Postcynical Strategies in the Work of Michael Rakowitz

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