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Title: Picturing live war : a research practice in an installation and in a text
Author: Sabine, El Chamaa
ISNI:       0000 0004 5347 6264
Awarding Body: Goldsmiths College (University of London)
Current Institution: Goldsmiths College (University of London)
Date of Award: 2014
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As a local filmmaker I was compelled to film during the 34-day war waged by the Israeli government on Lebanon in July 2006. My questioning of the function of my images amidst the proliferating international and local live media images of that war led me to pursue an interdisciplinary research. This thesis project, presented partly as an installation and partly as a theoretical text, is the result of my research. My thesis argument and original contribution to knowledge is that ‘co-liveness’ has become inherent in the act of watching live war since the first televised live broadcast of war (The First Gulf War, 1991). I have defined co-liveness as the local citizens’ experience of war as an embodied reality and as a mediatised event turning them simultaneously into potential targets and media spectators. My colleagues’ non-recognition of ‘co-liveness’ in my edited sequences leads me to question how the factual/fictional construct of what counts as an image of war is recognised revealing the ‘technostrategic discourse’ (Cohn, 1987) as a recognisable language/view from a gun/air raid perspective. Michel Foucault’s “return to the origin” (1977) inspires the analysis of the framing of first Gulf War (1991) and its critique as ‘infotainment’ and ‘spectacle’, as discursive practices where foundational omissions are inscribed in a critique that perceives all spectators to be distant to war’s materiality. A diffractive reading enables me to propose an imaginary co-live perspective on the margins of the text. The accompanying installation “Fragments” is conceived through the combined influences of ‘Détournement’ (Debord, 1958), the ‘Parergon’ (Derrida, 1979) and ‘Articulation’ (Haraway, 1992) where every visitor’s trajectory maps a personal interaction with the elements on display. Co-presence lends a renewed reading to what it means to ‘watch war’ when visitors share their impressions in a final discussion.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available