Visual Advocacy in the Early Decades of Humanitarian Cinema
, it but serves to emphasize the reports, which for several months past have been reaching the outer world, of conditions which obtain in the stricken areas. ( Record , 1922b : 151–2)
Although it is impossible to know how the audience felt retrospectively, we can reflect on the injunctions to feel and care made in the films. The controversial films discussed above stand close to another visual genre – that of atrocity images. As with certain photographic cases used in transnational networks – who denounced abuses in the colonies ( Twomey, 2012 ) – atrocity images
Writing about Personal Experiences of Humanitarianism
Róisín Read, Tony Redmond, and Gareth Owen
decisions of poor leaders that led to such unnecessary violence and tragedy – as if Somalia had not seen enough of that already.
RR: You both have mentioned other writings which influenced your work, but you don’t say a lot about other humanitarian memoirs. I wonder what your perception of humanitarian memoir as a genre was before you started writing? Here I’m wondering not just about the role they play in communicating the experiences of the sector to a wider audience, but also the potential role they play in generating a humanitarian nostalgia or myths about the
categorize approaches to the relation between international law and film that will prove useful to other scholars to adopt, test against particular films, genres or themes, and potentially react against or modify in the context of the existing scholarship on international law and film with a focus on the use of force.
Informed by these chapters, my aim here is to explore how films can bolster or undermine claims about the legality of the use of force. I begin by drawing out three themes of the contributions of Corten and Dubuisson that I consider important to discussions
Cinema has been an object of study for the social sciences for some time now. The relationship between law and cinema has been the subject of a certain number of reflections by jurists who work essentially within a national legal framework, and from the true genre that courtroom movies have become. One can point also to studies linking cinema and international relations. In short, the relationship between international law and cinema has never been the subject of a specific book. The objective of the present book is to show what image of international law and its norms is conveyed in films and series. Beyond a strictly legal analysis, the ambition is to take into account, in a broader perspective marked by interdisciplinarity, the relations between international law, cinema and ideology. The volume is aimed at a readership made of scholars, researchers as well as practitioners, in the field of international law, and related fields, all of whom will benefit from being introduced to a variety of perspectives on core international legal questions present in movies and TV series. Further, the volume can also be used with advanced undergraduate and postgraduate students studying international law, politics and international relations because it will provide the possibility of introducing students to a variety of perspectives on key issues in international law present in movies and TV series.
against warp gas?!
Cheetara: When did the mutants ever go by the rules?
Tygra: Rules are only meaningful if people agree to follow them, otherwise they’re just words!
For over a century, the science fiction universe has excelled in diversity and creativity, telling tales of contact with extra-terrestrial life, dealings with diabolic artificial intelligence, journeys through black holes and cybernetic dystopias. But beyond the futuristic thrills, the genre has enabled us to reflect upon the major political questions of our era. This should not come as a surprise
-made interpretations, reduced to the role of mere puppets with all-too-visible strings. This is one of the reasons why international law can only with difficulty appear as a main actor in film, because the fact that it is a concept sends it, for logical and dramatic reasons, off-screen.
Merging off-screen and on-screen results in attrition, as shown by science fiction movies, a genre in themselves. One may disagree, but I stand by my opinion: on the whole, its image-illustrated conceptualization may be dramatic, filled with film virtuosity and special effects, but intellectually
would not be legitimate.
‘Science fiction’ as a category is both quite obvious and uneasy to fully grasp. Science fiction was originally a literary genre and can be included in what can be broadly referred to as speculative fiction, 7 i.e. fictions unfolding in worlds that never existed or are still unknown. Books, novels or movies describing what happens in the future (which is unknown by definition), in a past that contradicts History or in worlds other than the Earth belong to speculative fiction. Two main subgenres have to be distinguished: science fiction and
the genre 5 which they have been assigned to? Now I am very glad that the editors, Olivier Corten, François Dubuisson and Martyna Fałkowska-Clarys, as well as Vincent Chapaux and Marco Benatar who wrote two very stimulating chapters from the perspective of legal theory ( Chapter 2 ) and interspecies relations ( Chapter 3 ), have not been afraid of this and decided that there was actually scope to write something meaningful, as legal scholars, about international law in science fiction cinema.
So, what is that something? Agreeing with Corten and Dubuisson
’s internal enemies), and this is true of most of the films considered in the book in general. Simm shows us how questions of genre operate to situate the films in question in a particular mode of political engagement but she also notices that the material conditions for film and television production can be important (or at least highly influential) in determining the ideological commitments embedded in these artefacts of cine-legality. Just as important, though, is the interdisciplinary framing undertaken by scholars themselves. The vast majority of films and televisions
dislocates the normative framework originally designed to regulate armed conflicts. Fałkowska-Clarys and Koutroulis, in their chapter, do not fully acknowledge the difficulty of applying old in bello categories to the war on terror. This is problematic since, as noted by Chamayou, ‘to apply norms designed for a conflict to slaughtering practices, and to be willing to pursue the discussion without questioning the presumption that these practices still stem from within that normative framework, ratifies a fatal confusion of genres’. 58 Fałkowska-Clarys and Koutroulis do