by Rebecca Chace
A brilliant reflection on re-reading Susan Sontag’s Regarding the Pain of Others and the power and danger of images and need to be more than passive witnesses.
Images of suffering and atrocity now have unparalleled access to our most intimate spaces. Most of us keep that connection open in our pockets or in the palm of our hands….
We are vulnerable to images just as we are vulnerable to propaganda. Our visceral experience of violent and disturbing images has changed not only because of the unprecedented speed of their transmission but also because there is no longer any mediation between these images and the viewer. Media outlets used to edit what images were permissible to share with the public. Now, if we have access to the technology, we can share directly with each other in real time. There is true political power in the removal of the mediator, but as there is more to respond to, there is proportionally more emotional instability.