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Death and suffering as a contemporary media performance. Performance studies perspective

Ewa Jeleń-Kubalewska

Abstract

The main goal of this dissertation is to analyze how media (photography in particular) presents distressing events in postmodern Western world, as well as to answer the question of how (and to what degree) media shapes our attitudes/ behaviors towards death and suffering. The annual World Press Photo exhibition remains the main case study of my doctorate. Within its framework the most appreciated photos are those to which jury assigns a high degree of drama. The exhibition is also characterized by the preponderance of images presenting other people's suffering and death (preponderance over eg images presenting sport and art events or other, less shocking events). I was interested in such aspects of the issue as: border of private/public in Western culture, ethnocentrism in photographic and television representations of Other, collective memory and media recording of trauma, the image in the discourse of power, aesthetization of suffering, as well as the World Press Photo competition and exhibition as a cultural, organizational, and technical performance (within the meaning bestowed to these three types of performances by McKenzie). This work verifies the usual view that it is the magnitude of the images of atrocities that stifles our ability to respond, and also tries to explain how the system of knowledge-power in Western societies affects whose suffering (and why) we do not show. It also questions the ability of the image to unveil the truth about the past, and thus calls into question its documentary value.
Record ID
UAMf40530dc12534701b18c2796143ef5db
Diploma type
Doctor of Philosophy
Author
Ewa Jeleń-Kubalewska Ewa Jeleń-Kubalewska,, Adam Mickiewicz University (AMU)
Title in Polish
Cierpienie i śmierć jako współczesny performans medialny. Perspektywa performatyczna
Title in English
Death and suffering as a contemporary media performance. Performance studies perspective
Language
pol (pl) Polish
Certifying Unit
Faculty of Social Sciences (FoSS)
Discipline
cultural studies / (humanities) / (humanities)
Scientific discipline (2.0)
1.6 culture and religion sciences
Status
Finished
Defense Date
25-06-2014
Title date
25-06-2014
Supervisor
URL
http://hdl.handle.net/10593/10994 Opening in a new tab
Keywords in English
Performance; Death; Suffering; Media; World Press Photo
Abstract in English
The main goal of this dissertation is to analyze how media (photography in particular) presents distressing events in postmodern Western world, as well as to answer the question of how (and to what degree) media shapes our attitudes/ behaviors towards death and suffering. The annual World Press Photo exhibition remains the main case study of my doctorate. Within its framework the most appreciated photos are those to which jury assigns a high degree of drama. The exhibition is also characterized by the preponderance of images presenting other people's suffering and death (preponderance over eg images presenting sport and art events or other, less shocking events). I was interested in such aspects of the issue as: border of private/public in Western culture, ethnocentrism in photographic and television representations of Other, collective memory and media recording of trauma, the image in the discourse of power, aesthetization of suffering, as well as the World Press Photo competition and exhibition as a cultural, organizational, and technical performance (within the meaning bestowed to these three types of performances by McKenzie). This work verifies the usual view that it is the magnitude of the images of atrocities that stifles our ability to respond, and also tries to explain how the system of knowledge-power in Western societies affects whose suffering (and why) we do not show. It also questions the ability of the image to unveil the truth about the past, and thus calls into question its documentary value.
Thesis file
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Uniform Resource Identifier
https://researchportal.amu.edu.pl/info/phd/UAMf40530dc12534701b18c2796143ef5db/
URN
urn:amu-prod:UAMf40530dc12534701b18c2796143ef5db

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