A Little History of Photography Criticism; or, Why Do Photography Critics Hate Photography? (Chicago Shorts)

In A Short History of Photography Criticism; or, Why Do Photography Critics Hate Photography?, Susie Linfield contends that by looking at images of political violence and learning to see the people in them, we engage in an ethically and politically necessary act that connects us to our modern history of violence. For many years, Linfield’s acute analysis of photographs—from events as wide-ranging as the Holocaust, the Chinese Cultural Revolution, and recent acts of terrorism—has explored a complex connection between the practices of photojournalism and the rise of human rights ideals. By asking how photography should respond to the darker shadows of modern life, Linfield insists on the continuing moral relevance of photojournalism, while urging us not to avert our eyes from what James Agee once labeled “the cruel radiance of what is.”

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