New Book: Ginsburg, Ye may be to us instead of eyes. Israel Human Rights Organizations in the Occupied Territories through the Camera Lens (Hebrew)

גינזבורג, רותי. והייתם לנו לעיניים. ארגוני זכויות אדם ישראלים בשטחים הכבושים מבעד לעין המצלמה. תל אביב: רסלינג, 2014.

 

URL: http://www.resling.co.il/book.asp?series_id=3&book_id=789

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Abstract

What do human rights activists see? What do their organizations show in their reports? How do the choices of visual images report on the conflict? What kind of gaze does human rights discourse produce? How does the universal discourse meet with local discourse in visual documentation? How does the citizenry of activist framework their field of view, and how does the universal discourse do this? In Ruthie Ginsburg’s book, Ye may be to us instead of eyes, the visual plane is not merely a representation added to the verbal one, it is instrumental in designing the questions.

The book offers a theoretical space and historic mapping of Israeli human rights organizations. A discussion of the discourse of local human rights organizations active in the occupied is through interdisciplinary study that combines analysis of photographs, interviews with key individuals in these organizations and a close reading of their reports is offered here for the first time. The different chapters offer a comparative examination of three major human rights organizations operating in Israel: B’Tselem, Physicians for Human Rights – Israel, and Machsom Watch. By studying the archives created in each of these organizations, the material and emotional conditions that shape the reports, along with spatial and political relations produced in their activity can be examined. The Analysis of the activists’ gaze strives to understand the practice of these organizations, located amidst a polarized system between occupier and occupied, perpetrator and victim.

This book joins pioneering studies conducted worldwide that examine visual, aesthetic, and sensory elements that shape civil negotiations and visual aspect which it designs.

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