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Radical Philosophy Review

Volume 8, Issue 1, 2005

Andrew J. Mitchell
Pages 1-27

Torture and Photography
Abu Ghraib

"Torture and Photography: Abu Ghraib" attempts to think the mutual relationships between torture and photography, addressing issues of objectivity, publicity, and distance. In a world where bodies have been divested of human rights, the objectification of the camera seems the perfect complement. Exploring the "prophylactic" character of film, the author proposes human "touch" as always in excess of this objectified state of affairs. Along with memoranda from the Bush administration on the issues of detainee rights and the role of torture in interrogation, the essay engages with the theoretical work of Susan Sontag, Elaine Scarry, Michel Foucault, Georges Bataille, Erwin Straus, and Giorgio Agamben in staking out the intersection of torture and photography.

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