Atrocity, Photography and War: An International Symposium

Atrocity, Photography and War: An International Symposium
Monash Prato Centre, Tuscany, Italy
15-16 June 2010
This symposium will explore how photographic images of atrocities relate to the development of ideas about human rights, how they influence the memory of particular wars, and the ways they shape perceptions of conflict – both at the time and later. It also encourages critical and historical engagement with the actual concept of 'atrocity', the ways this has changed across time, and the relationship of photography to its articulation and use. Atrocity is a concept most frequently linked with war, but there are important connections with colonialism and its critics yet to be explored.

We invite papers that analyse photographs and photography in order to comprehend more fully the way they intersect with histories of atrocity, war, human rights and colonialism. What is the relationship between war and photography? When does the concept of 'atrocity' come into use, and what is its relationship to photographic evidence of suffering and violence? Who produced photographic images of atrocity, who consumed them, how were they read, and does this change across time? How do some images become iconic, when others are forgotten? We encourage papers that take a specifically historical approach to such questions, and which are sensitive to the social, economic and cultural context in which images are both produced and later circulated.

Please send a 200 word abstract and a brief CV by Thursday 31 December 2009 to:

* Dr Christina Twomey
* Email:

The symposium will be held at Monash University's Prato Centre in Italy. For further information about the Centre, please see


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