compromised by French involvement, see Chapter 9 ).
A key concern of the films made after the end of the
‘invisible war’ is to make it visible. This is achieved by
engaging with the trauma and its victims, but also by showing protagonists
who survive to tell the tale. Narrativising suffering is one way of coping
with it, since ‘the narratives of trauma told by victims and survivors
Exposing theinvisible: visual
investigation and conflict
Stephanie Hankey and Marek Tuszynski
For the last, almost two hundred years, journalists and illustrators and then photographers would be present on battlefields. The landscapes of conflict were part of the
reporting of those conflicts, and they deeply influenced our understanding of them.
We talk about the media activities around the Gulf War, the first genuinely televised
war, but before that there was photography in Vietnam, and water-colourists on the
battlefields of Crimea. We have an
N THE FIRST PART of this study an attempt was made to consider afresh the familiar civilian experience of the Second World
War in Britain with a view to assessing how well the morale of
the ordinary people came through that time of trial. That it did not
break was not the point at issue – no one has ever suggested it did.
The issue was, simply, where on the continuum from ‘low’ to ‘high’,
from ‘poor’ to ‘good’ would one, in retrospect, place the spirit and
behaviour of the people during those six years.
Approaching theinvisible centre:
middle-class identity and documentary
So far in this book I have considered various engagements with
screen documentary made by viewers other than myself. In this
chapter I turn attention to some of my own responses to documentary films, and explore how my identity, particularly its middleclass aspect, has shaped these reactions. The purpose behind this
move is not to wallow in narcissism, nor to ‘restore’ a middleclass, white and male subjectivity to the centre stage of film and
media studies – if it has ever been truly
attempts to commemorate slavery at a national and local level:
I was trying to find a way to talk of a thing that is not there, sort of Inside theInvisible if you like. I am interested in the politics of representation, how when something is there you can talk about it, write about it, paint about it, but when something isn’t there what can you say, how can you make something of it, how can it not have been in vain, if you like. [My] idea for memorialising came from trying to visualize theinvisible. 103
prophetic abilities of second-sighted seers are also problematic, having been written by men who were setting out in search of supernatural phenomena in order to rebut the mechanical world view being expounded by contemporary Cartesians. 12 These accounts do, nevertheless, throw up some likely examples of trance. By considering the experience of trance as it emerges from these sources, we can come to understand how the ‘invisible polity’ was experienced as a complete reality by certain people in early modern Scotland.
What can modern medical and anthropological studies
some forty years prior to the film-making and now lies almost a century into the past.
There was a period, particularly in the 1970s and 1980s, when more participatory and reflexive ways of doing ethnographic film-making became an almost universal orthodoxy (as I shall discuss in Chapters 5 – 7 ) and re-enactment projects such as these came in for a considerable degree of criticism. Theinvisible authoring that they entailed was rejected not merely as false and artificial in a scientific or stylistic sense, but even as unethical in that it
What is it like to be a Muslim possessed by a jinn spirit? How do you find refuge
from madness and evil spirits in a place like Denmark? As elsewhere in
Europe and North America, Danish Muslims have become hypervisible through
intensive state monitoring, surveillance, and media coverage. Yet their religion
remains poorly understood and is frequently identified by politicians,
commentators, and even healthcare specialists as the underlying invisible cause
of ‘integration problems’. Over several years Christian Suhr followed
Muslim patients being treated in a Danish mosque and in a psychiatric hospital.
With this book and award-winning film he provides a unique account of the
invisible dynamics of possession and psychosis, and an analysis of how the
bodies and souls of Muslim patients are shaped by the conflicting demands of
Islam and the psychiatric institutions of European nation-states. The book
reveals how both psychiatric and Islamic healing work not only to produce relief
from pain, but also entail an ethical transformation of the patient and the
cultivation of religious and secular values through the experience of pain.
Creatively exploring the analytic possibilities provided by the use of a camera,
both text and film show how disruptive ritual techniques are used in healing to
destabilise individual perceptions and experiences of agency, so as to allow
patients to submit to the invisible powers of psychotropic medicine or God.