UCD, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland | Director: Professor Liam Kennedy
This research project forms the core of an interdisciplinary, transnational collaboration between scholars in the fields of visual culture and international relations, practitioners in photography and visual media, and NGO actors in fields of human rights and international conflict. It examines the roles of image producers and the functions of photographic imagery in the documentation and communication of wars, violent conflicts and human rights issues. The ideological tenets of humanitarianism and cosmopolitanism, in particular their ethical imperatives regarding the pain and suffering of others, have long historical associations with traditions of documentary image-making. This project will review these histories, analyse the ideological impulses and functions of contemporary modes of photographic documentation, and establish a comparative framework to identify distinctive features of global photographic traditions and practices. In developing this framework it will pursue original research on the roles of photography in documenting conflict and its aftermath in Northern Ireland.
The project will have two broad, interrelated strands.