The Camera as a Witness: Photography and Memory

Symposium: NIOD 17. April 2019 Amsterdam

In light of the recently opened exhibition „The Persecution of Jews in Photographs. The Netherlands 1940-1945“ in Amsterdam (National Holocaust Museum), the NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies kindly invites you to the symposium “The Camera as a Witness: Photography and Memory”. This is a one day symposium during which the photograph as a historical source is examined. In a period of time in which the visual image is gaining increasing significance, it is important to be aware of the ways in which these images affect our perception of (historical) events. From various viewpoints, specialists in the field of history and memory studies will reflect upon the role of images on our understanding of the past. They discuss amongst others the documentary force and subjective reality of photography in the context of war and the violation of human rights. Furthermore, the use of photographs in post-war trials across the world and the impact of photographs on the responses of later generations to the trauma of the first generation – ‘postmemory’ – will be examined.

The Persecution of Jews in Photographs. The Netherlands 1940-1945: Foto aus der NIOD-Bilddatenbank Beeldbank WO2 – NIOD von 1941, Fotograf:

Program

09:45-10:15 Registration

10:15-10:30 Welcome

10:30-12:00 Panel 1: The Photograph as a Historical Source

Frank van Vree (Director of NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Amsterdam)
“Grounding Images. Visual evidence of Nazi atrocities”

Annette Vowinckel (Zentrum für Zeithistorische Forschung, Potsdam)
“ ‘Image Agents’. Photographic action in the 20th century”

Christoph Kreutzmüller (Educational Department, House of the Wannsee-Conference, Berlin)
“Breaking News? Publicizing deportation in 1943”

LUNCH BREAK 

13:00-14:30 Panel 2: Photographs and Post-Memory

Lukas Meissel (PhD candidate, Haifa University)
“The Perpetrators‘ Gaze. SS Photos from concentration camps”

Stephanie Benzaquen-Gautier (Art Histories Fellow at the Forum Transregionale Studien, Berlin)
“Pictures of the Cambodian genocide: toward a photopolitics of Khmer Rouge memory”

Lovro Kralj (PhD candidate, Central European University, Budapest)
“Re-imagening Genocide: WWII mass atrocities photographs as propaganda instruments during the Yugoslav wars”

COFFEE BREAK 

15:00-16:30 Panel 3: Photographs, Trials and Transitional Justice

Lawrence Douglas (Professor of Law, Jurisprudence & Social Thought, Amherst College)
“Images of Atrocity: the legal framing of Holocaust photos”

Thijs Bouwknegt (Researcher NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Amsterdam)
“Transitional justice and photography on the Congo Free State, Namibia, Cambodia”

Christoph Flügge (Permanent Judge International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, ICTY)
“The importance of photographs as evidence in war crimes trials of the ICTY”

16:30 -17:30 Drinks

Register here

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