Eyewitness video and human rights rights practice


Duration: 2021 – 2025

Research Areas
Media and Communication Studies


The purpose of this research project is to provide a conceptually innovative and empirically-grounded understanding of the increasingly important interplay between eyewitness video and human rights practice in a media landscape characterized by an ever-proliferating range and number of people who now, almost routinely, make claims for their rights and about injustice in eyewitness images captured on digital (mobile) cameras and shared via online platforms.

The investigation will employ a practice-based, ethnographic approach to examine, over a four-year period (2022-2025), (1) how leading human rights organizations utilize and define eyewitness video as an evidentiary tool in their advocacy work, (2) how eyewitness video is incorporated and defined as a form of legal evidence in courtrooms, and (3) how grassroots image-makers themselves pose and put into action the justice potential of eyewitness video. The project will thus provide original insights into the emergent institutionalization of eyewitness video in a human rights context, tracing how this is affecting historical and current ways of doing and understanding human rights. As a result, the project will contribute to theoretical and conceptual developments regarding the issue of the transformative power of eyewitness video and its potential to re/shape discourses, privilege some players over others, and make, in general, a more powerful role for the enactment and enforcement of human rights.

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About the Member

Kari Andén-Papadopoulos

Professor i medie- och kommunikationsvetenskap. Disputerade 2000-11-30 vid Stockholms universitet/JMK på avhandlingen Kameran i krig. Den fotografiska iscensättningen av Vietnamkriget i svensk press. Read more