Picturing Human Rights
Today the methodologies of the contemporary ethnographer and the photodocumentist run parallel. Neither seek only to explain or describe the phenomenon under investigation, rather they seek to understand that phenomenon though empathy and compassion. 'Picturing Human Rights" coincided with the 60th anniversary of the United Nations' Declaration of Human Rights. In doing so it sought to present a snap shot of the lived experience of human practice across the minority and majority world. The understanding developed and discoveries made from this publication revolve around the notions of inequality, injustice and betrayal and that the rhetoric of the declaration remains largely unachieved. But rather than simply state these notions, this publication seeks to allow the viewer to project into and live the lives of those rendered voiceless through these poverty and being disenfranchised for just a few moment. The new knowledge lies in this lived experience. In doing so, this edition of the APJ presents journalism and documentary practice not only as legitimate modes of social inquiry but modes of storytelling that allow an audience to know through empathy and compassion. That is, rigorous documentary practice (combination of investigative journalism, ethnography and aesthetic) conflates the distance between the viewer and the viewed allowing the former to become stakeholders in the lives of those whose stories are told. In doing so, pity is replaced with compassion through a form of sharing sharing lived experiences.
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