The Gaze, continued

Last time we talked about ”the gaze”. How the panopticon was designed so that the watchers could watch all the inmates in the prison, or at least give them the feeling that they were watched. This he believed would make them think about how the watchers wanted them to behave. And that they would start watching themselves so that they would conform with the expectations or requirements of the watchers.

We also talked about the male gaze – how male moviegoers and movie producers have shaped the representations of women. These representations are then learnt by women and becomes part in objectifying them.

Orientalism – representations of the Middle East 

First referred to by Edward Said as ”orientalism”, the term ”post-colonial gaze” is used to explain the relationship that colonial powers have with colonized countries. Placing the colonized in a position of the ”other”.

The postcolonial gaze ”has the function of establishing the subject/object relationship”. ”We” is constructed in contrast with ”them”. ”We” contstruct images of ”them”. These images or representations have some stereotypical qualities, they become reductionist and objectifying.

Related: The Hawthorne effect

Representations of people and catastrophically events in main stream media

Susan Sontag coined the phrase”compassion fatigue”. In media studies, news production is sometimes described as a ”spectacle”, in the same sense as gossip or a circus is a spectacle – entertainment.

  • Think about graphic, journalistic images in recent news, for instance the photos of the drowned Syrian boy
  • How would you describe the photos?
  • What do you think about the ethics of the photo? How is human dignity treated? In particular to article 1 of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights. ”All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.”
  • Is there reason to speak of ”compassion fatigue” in relation to this photo?
  • Is there reason to speak of news as a ”spectacle” in relation to this photo?

The films of the about naddara collective

  • How would you describe the film below?
  • What do you think about the ethics of the film? How is human dignity treated? In particular to article 1 of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights. ”All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.”

Edward Said – documentary

Prov nästa måndag, skrivsalen 13.20.

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