Photo-Therapy: The Online Image of 9/11

Jennifer Pollard
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This paper will focus on one aspect of the American public's response to the national trauma of 9/11; namely the collection and display of photographs in countless amateur memorial websites, in which 'galleries' of images are posted as tributes to the dead. Locating this practice in the wider context of the national press' representation of the events and government-endorsed photographic projects, I suggest that it offers insight into notions of digital community, the changes of meaning involved in a image's shifting contexts, and the 'therapeutic' function of owning, manipulating and looking at photographs in this way.

What is the role of photographic images in a national 'healing process'? What does it mean to 'bear witness' in a digital community? What is the significance of the ways in which these images are edited and manipulated by individuals? These questions will all be open for discussion.

Keywords: 9/11, Image, Photography, Internet, America, USA
Stream: Media, Film Studies, Theatre, Communication
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: "We Will Keep Looking"

Jennifer Pollard

Doctoral research student, Department of Art History, University of Nottingham
Nottingham, UK

After training as a visual artist and textile designer, gained an MA in Visual Culture at the University of Nottingham and is currently undertaking a PhD in Art History/Visual Culture, focussing on the role of photography in national trauma, with a particular focus on 9/11. Has also taught 20th photography history and theory at undergraduate level.

Ref: H06P0438