SUSAN SONTAG AND ETHICS OF PICTURE
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The text is dedicated to the last book by Susan Sontag 'Regarding the Pain of Others', from 2003 and her last essay 'Regarding the Torture of Others' from 2004. Her ruminations on the war photography are presented in the context of her biography, history of her reflection on photography and American imperialism, as well as her involvement in the fight for human rights. Susan Sontag ruminated on photographic representations of violence and human suffering in reference to the modern media culture. Her analyses pertained to the history of war report, photographs of lynch mobs, photographic evidence of the World Trade Center attack and photographs of tortures from Abu Ghraib. The authoress contemplated the ethical impact of photographic images of suffering. The article presents the various doubts of Susan Sontag as to impingement of such representations. It was emphasised that Sontag departed from her early scepticism: photography expressed in her book 'On Photography'. In her last reflections on photography she stressed its role played in protest against violence and its ability to mirror and convey the truth about the reality of war. For Sontag photography plays also a role in disclosing the truth about the dark side of human nature. The ruminations of Susan Sontag on the violence images are situated in the context of using violence by the media as the weapon in the present 'war against terrorism' and of the art by Alfredo Jaar pertaining to the alternative presentations of genocide. The essay emphasises an ethical approach to photography and relationship between visuality and human rights. It is supplemented by an outline of a history of war photography.
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