Proximity and Distance in the Mediation of Suffering: Local Photographers in War-Torn Aleppo and the International Media Circuit

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This article studies the work and working conditions of local non-professional or semi-professional photographers in Aleppo 2016, and the way they manoeuvre in relation to international networks of journalists and editors as well as to Western norms of portraying distant suffering when seeking to reach global audiences. Theoretically, the article draws upon studies of the ethics of distant spectatorship as well as of practitioners’ perspectives on photojournalism in and from conflict zones. The analysis builds on interviews with local photographers, Aleppo Media Centre, non-governmental organization employees, news agency photo editors and international journalists who have worked in Aleppo as well as digital ethnography. We argue that the relationship between Aleppian photographers and international news organisations was characterised by mutual dependency, but that their relationship was concurrently wrought with inequalities and dilemmas as the photographers’ working conditions were characterised by physical, political and economic vulnerability.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournalism
ISSN1464-8849
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 10 Aug 2018

    Research areas

  • Faculty of Humanities - Distant suffering, international news organisations, local war photographers, Syrian war

ID: 199752206