“Atrocity, Memory, Photography: Imaging the Concentration Camps of
Bosnia. The Case of ITN versus Living Marxism”
David Campbell teaches politics and directs the Center for Transnational Studies at Newcastle University, UK. He is the author of the award-winning National Deconstruction: Violence, Identity and Justice in Bosnia (Minnesota 1998), and the co-editor of Moral Spaces: Rethinking Ethics and World Politics (Minnesota 1999). His talk — on the controversy over the television pictures of August 1992 which brought the existence of concentration camps in Bosnia to international public attention, and whose accuracy was later challenged (and upheld) — investigates the role that the media and its images play in the unfolding of disasters, and what is at stake when those images are later called into question. He studies in particular the legal battle between the British broadcaster ITN, whose pictures of the camps at Omarska and Trnoplje became the iconic images of the war in Bosnia and evoked powerful comparisons with the Holocaust, and the journal “Living Marxism,” which published work casting doubt on the authenticity of the images and on the genocide they seemed to stand for.