Photography, Truth and Reconciliation charts the connections between photography and a crucial issue in contemporary social history. Using a range of global examples, this book looks at the prevalence of photography in cultural responses to processes of truth and reconciliation, and the implications of this relationship for photography studies.
Far more than just illustrations of historical events, this book shows how photographs are a valuable means through which stories can be retold and historiography can be rethought. Five compelling case studies from Argentina, Canada, Australia, South Africa and Cambodia underscore the special role that this medium has played in facilitating processes of recovery, and in reconstructing suppressed histories, even when a documentary record of the events does not exist. By shifting focus away from the idea of history as a presentation of facts about the past, to an account shaped by personal narrative and experience, Melissa Miles challenges long-held conceptions of photography and how photographs are used to relate to others and the past. The diverse practices addressed in this book - including artistic, protest, institutional, archival, legal and personal photography - prompt a new consideration of photography's links to presence, place, time, spectatorship and justice. Collectively, these practices attest to photography's key role in transitional justice, and in shaping historical understanding internationally.
Important reading for students taking photography, visual culture, history and media studies courses, Photography, Truth and Reconciliation explores key historical and theoretical themes, including photography and testimony, international discourses on human rights and justice, and problematic notions of public and collective memory.