Professor Donatella Della Ratta Publishes Essay on Filming in Syria

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Communications Professor Donatella Della Ratta has recently published an article in the Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication titled “The Unbearable Lightness of the Image: Unfinished Thoughts on Filming in Contemporary Syria.”

ABSTRACT
In this essay, Prof. Della Ratta reflects on the aesthetic, political and material implications of filming as a continuous life activity since the beginning of the 2011 uprising in Syria. She argues that the blurry, shaky and pixelated aesthetics of Syrian user-generated videos serve to construct an ethical discourse (Ranciére 2009a; 2013) to address the genesis and the goal of the images produced and to shape a political commitment to the evidence-image (Didi-Huberman 2008). However, while the unstable visuals of the handheld camera powerfully reconnect, both at a symbolic and aesthetic level, to the truthfulness of the moment of crisis in which they are generated, they fail to produce a clearer understanding of the situation and a counter-hegemonic narrative. In this article, Prof. Della Ratta explores how new technologies have impacted this process of bearing witness and documenting events in real time, and how they have shaped a new understanding of the image as a networked, multiple object connected with the living archive of history, in a permanent dialogue with the seemingly endless flow of data nurtured by the web 2.0.

Professor Donatella Della Ratta has a background in Media Studies with a specialization in Arabic-speaking media. She has authored three monographs on Arab media and curated chapters on Syrian media and politics in several collective books. She is a contributor to Italian and international media outlets such as Al Jazeera English, Hyperallergic, Internazionale, and Il Manifesto. She has professional experience as a journalist, TV author and producer, and managed the Arabic speaking community of the international NGO Creative Commons www.creativecommons.org for five years (2008-2013).  She has curated several art exhibitions and film programs on Syria, and she is a co-founder and board member of the web aggregator on creative resistance SyriaUntold.

Read the article “The Unbearable Lightness of the Image: Unfinished Thoughts on Filming in Contemporary Syria.”