Photography, Bearing Witness and the Yugoslav Wars, with Paul Lowe

How can photography represent conflict and genocide? What are the different ways in which photography can bear witness? What can we learn from the visual coverage of the Yugoslav Wars that applies to events like the Russian invasion of Ukraine?

Paul Lowe is in the unique position of being both an accomplished conflict photographer and a scholar of photojournalism. In his new book, Paul considers the practice of photojournalism rather than focusing on its consumption and use by the media.

He analyses the experiences and working methods of photographers in the field, showing how practitioners conceptualized their work and responded to larger questions about neutrality and moral responsibility with an ‘active’ form of witnessing. The book also considers the therapeutic and validating potential of photography for survivors, featuring photographers whose work centers on memory and reconciliation.

In this event, we explore the argument and themes of Paul’s book using images from the coverage of the Yugoslav Wars and consider the implications for contemporary conflicts and their aftermath.

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