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Depicting the pain of others: Photographic representations of refugees in the Aegean Shores

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Europe faces a refugee crisis of historic proportions. Greece has yet again become the principal site of an ever-unfolding humanitarian calamity. The refugee crisis has brought to the Aegean shores a motley crew of humanitarian activists, journalists, artists and photographers offering relief and documenting the plight of suffering populations fleeing war and destruction. Appeals, reports and photographs circulate across the globe on a daily basis. Borrowing Susan Sontag’s well known dictum, the essay offers a commentary on some key aspects of the visual economy of the refugee crisis and registers some preliminary thoughts on the relation between the current moment and past visual vocabularies of suffering and displacement.
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Keywords: Aegean; Europe; Greece; crisis; humanitarianism; photography; refugees; visual

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Queen Mary University of London

Publication date: April 1, 2016

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  • The Journal of Greek Media & Culture is an interdisciplinary peer-reviewed journal that aims to provide a platform for debate and exploration of a wide range of manifestations of media and culture in and about Greece. The journal adopts a broad and inclusive approach to media and culture with reference to film, photography, literature, the visual arts, music, theatre, performance, as well as all forms of electronic media and expressions of popular culture. While providing a forum for the close analysis of cultural formations specific to Greece, JGMC aims to engage with broader methodological and theoretical debates, and situate the Greek case in global, diasporic and transnational contexts.
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