En estetisk studie vid Dödens hav
Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
The subject of my essay concerns the images of refugees that have been taken on Lesvos during the last year. The aim of this essay is to examine the relationship between the photographer, the camera and the island as a scene för photographers, through the images that were taken there. The main scene is the beaches of Lesvos where tragedies and (sometimes) even comedies take place.
I am working in a field where photography, aesthetics and social anthropology intersect. As regards to method, I have applied researcher Ruben Anderssson's ”extended field site” to my own field studies concerning Lesvos. The refugee situation that recently found its centre on the Greek islands is built up of networks that stretch far and wide across the globe. Events in one part of the world affect what is happening on Lesvos and vice versa. The media and NGOs are also part of larger networks. Therefore the field site needs to be extended beyond the geographical borders of Lesvos. I did field studies on Lesvos two times during the last year. I interviewed photographers and volunteers and took photographs of my own. Intuition is an integral part of my work and I have also applied it to my field studies.
One of my starting points has been Judith Butler’s thoughts on what makes a life grievable. Butler's main hypothesis is that we view certain lives as having less value than others and thereby we will be less likely to grieve the passing of such lives. I examine the images of refugees to see if photography can help us better regard their lives as grievable. Refugees are people whose exposed bodies live precarious lives. Photographers can capture this in images but it is the spectator who has the final say in how images affect him or her. I end the essay by examining the spectator and what happens when we are confronted with disturbing images. Images of refugees in need exhort us to react whether we want to or not. We can turn away, but once images have entered out consciousness, there is no turning back.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 71 p.
Lesvos, Refugees/Migrants, Photography, Aesthetics, Social Anthropology, Field Work
Lesbos, flyktingar/migranter, fotografi, estetik, socialantropologi, fältarbete
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-30875OAI: oai:DiVA.org:sh-30875DiVA: diva2:971290
Subject / course
Sjöholm, Cecilia, Professor
Staberg, Jakob, Högskolelektor