Visual Occupations: Violence and Visibility in a Conflict Zone
“Nothing to Look At”; or, “For Whom Are You Shooting?”: The Imperative to Witness and the Menace of the Global Gaze
2015. "“Nothing to Look At”; or, “For Whom Are You Shooting?”: The Imperative to Witness and the Menace of the Global Gaze", Visual Occupations: Violence and Visibility in a Conflict Zone, Gil Z. Hochberg
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Chapter 5 tackles the “crisis of witnessing” associated with the demand imposed on Palestinians from both human rights NGOs and the global media to provide visual proof and eyewitness accounts of their suffering and hardship. The chapter engages with two essay films that the author argues deliberately refuse to provide such “visual evidence,” Nervus Rerum (2008) by the London-based artistic collaborative the Otolith Group (the two members of the group are: Kondwo Eshun and Anjalika Sagar) and We Began by Measuring the Distance (2009) by the Beirut-based Palestinian director Basma Al Sharif. It shows how the films’ investigations of the limits of “documentation” (as an ethical act and as a cinematic genre) generates in turn an alternative visual syntax elaborated via a poetics of opacity and a politics of disappearance.