Nina Grønlykke Mollerup

Nina Grønlykke Mollerup

Associate Professor

My research investigates how images of violence are produced and how they are used to establish truths and narratives in legal, journalistic, activistic, historic and other contexts. Among other things, I am interested in how the meaning of images changes over time and how they contribute to establishing relationships between people, especially in relation to human rights and justice processes. I collaborate with different civil society organisations which all work with images from war and conflicts.

I have a degree in anthropology from University of Copenhagen (2009). I am specialised in the Middle East and have conducted ethnographic fieldworks in Egypt, Syria and Europe.

I lead the project Views of Violence: Images as Documentary, Evidentiary and Affective (Sapere Aude 2023-26) and participate in Archiving the Future: Re-Collections of Syria in War and Peace (Sapere Aude 2020-24, PI: Andreas Bandak). I am also responsible for Sensory Media Anthropology (financed by a NOS-HS Exploratory Workshop grant, 2022-23) together with Meri Kytö (University of Turku) and Niamh Ní Bhroin (University of Oslo). I am chair of the e-seminar series under Media Anthropology Network of the European Association of Social Anthropologists (EASA). In addition, I am co-founder and co-convenor of the EASA Sensory Media Anthropology Network.

Primary fields of research

  • Images of violence
  • Human rights
  • Justice
  • Journalism
  • The Middle East
  • Social movements
  • Conflict and violence
  • Media anthropology
  • Materialities of media
  • The sensory
  • Futuremaking

Current research

Views of Violence:

The Views of Violence project produces knowledge about how images of violence influence accountability, justice and work for human rights, focusing particularly on the significance of how, why and by whom the images were produced. The project contends that locations of cameras, intentions behind filming and modes of filming – what the project calls 'views of violence' – matters. Through ethnographic work and in collaboration with pioneering civil society organisations in the field, namely Bellingcat, Mnemonic, WITNESS, International Media Support (IMS) and Amnesty International's Crisis Evidence Lab, the project examines how views of violence affect the way the images are used to establish knowledge in journalistic, legal and social justice contexts. The project works with cases which are selected in collaboration with project partners to ensure attention to a variety of geographical contexts, types of violence, types of documentation and phases of images engagement.

Archiving the Future:

I investigate collective archiving as a vernacular practice through taking into account the broad range of actors involved in the event of photography (Azoulay 2016). The empirical focus of this subproject is Syrian Archive ( and its partners. Syrian Archive is a Syrian-led, Europe-based collective of human rights activists that works to identify, collect, secure the preservation of, verify, and publish images of human rights violations and other crimes committed by all sides in the conflict. Syrian Archive collaborates with a broad range of actors, including organizations such as WITNESS and International Media Support (IMS) to train photographers and develop methods of verification. They host a growing archive of over 3.300,000 collected digital videos and images. When put together, these images form a forceful, collective archive of the war, creating a potential for future justice. With the broad range of actors involved in this form of archiving, the authority and legitimacy of the images are not pre-established. Therefore, this subproject investigates the collection and use of these images, particularly in relation to procedures of verification and evidence (Engelke 2009), acknowledging this as a conversation, which draws into the past as well as the future. 

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