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Sandra Ristovska: Seeing Human Rights: How Video Serves Distinct Policy Functions

November 9, 2021 @ 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm

Seeing Human Rights: How Video Serves Distinct Policy Functions

Sandra Ristovska


Visual technologies have long constituted a crucial element of struggles for human rights and social change. There are numerous examples: etchings about the abolition of slavery in England; photographs of the US Civil War; antifascist prints in Mexico; newsreels of the suffragettes; and satellite images of mass graves in Bosnia, to name just a few. In this talk, I will discuss how human rights organizations are borrowing from this long-standing and wide-ranging tradition as they seek to professionalize video activism through video production, verification standards, and training. The result, I argue, is a proxy profession that helps legitimize video’s potential to serve distinct policy functions while brokering human rights voices across institutional and legal domains.


Sandra Ristovska is Assistant Professor of Media Studies at the College of Media, Communication, and Information at the University of Colorado Boulder. She studies the interplay between images and human rights, particularly in institutional and legal contexts. A 2021 Mellon/ACLS Scholars & Society Fellow, she is the author of Seeing Human Rights: Video Activism as a Proxy Profession (MIT Press, 2021) and co-editor of Visual Imagery and Human Rights Practice (Palgrave, 2018).


Science, Technology, and Human Rights Fall Speaker Series

How have science and technology  historically shaped understandings of human rights? How have human rights frameworks shaped the creation and use of scientific and technological capabilities? This speaker series explores the relationship of science and technology to ideas about human rights over time, including how science and technology have been mobilized historically in the defense of human rights and to assist in the pursuit of truth and justice after atrocity. The series is tied to the fall semester course STS.458 Science, Technology, and Human Rights.

All talks are open to the public.

MIT STS Faculty and Moderator:

Prof. Eden Medina, Associate Professor of Science, Technology, and Society (STS)

PRE-REGISTRATION REQUIRED: https://mit.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_guTXHHtzREeoar8HgjUU6A


November 9, 2021
2:30 pm - 3:30 pm

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