Envisioning Human Rights Part I Gilles Peress, Thomas Morley, Jean-Marie Simon – The Eye of Photography

Gilles Peress raises the dilemma of human rights photography: “I keep asking myself the fundamental question: Can human rights photography, like 18th century novels, be a vehicle for empathy? Can photographs motivate viewers to engage with human rights issues and bring about real change? As we know, badly used photography can be a vehicle for propaganda or emotional exploitation of the worst kind, and can ultimately desensitize viewers. Alternatively, if we accept the postmodernist argument mentioned above, we run the risk of photographs not being taken and entering a black hole of not seeing and a complete absence of consciousness. Which do you choose?”