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Representing representations: the ethics of filming at Ground Zero

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In this paper I analyse the ethical challenges that informed the production and filming of my documentary September Signs and Symbols . The film focuses on the material objects that commemorate the terrorist attacks of 9/11, and how this memorabilia circulates in New York City. The film explores how these objects have come to be complex signifiers containing within them the possibility for a range of meanings for people who create them, sell them, collect them, and use them and this paper reflects on the complex ethics of filming at Ground Zero - a highly charged political and cultural site. I analyse the ethics of representing a hyper-represented space, the necessity for self-reflexivity in the process of demystifying signifiers that have had meaning appended to them and my own complicity in the dialectic of production and consumption that informs any engagement with the objectified discourse of September 11th.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: October 1, 2004

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