Københavns Universitet
Uafhængig af ledelsen


Visualising conflict – Photojournalism and the politics of participation

Konference — Photojournalists once held a privileged position in conflict reporting. But today activists, citizens and others also produce and disseminate images. The conference Visualising conflict discusses the issues of this new media landscape.


Date & Time:

University of Copenhagen, Southern Campus (KUA 2), Karen Blixens Plads 8, 2300 Copenhagen S, room 23.0.50

Hosted by:
The conference is organised by IMS (International Media Support) and the research group Images of Conflict, Conflicting Images at University of Copenhagen, Department of Media, Cognition and Communication.



Photojournalists used to hold a privileged position in conflict reporting. Today, they are joined by activists, citizens and others who also produce and disseminate images. Cell phone videos of police officers shooting unarmed, black teenagers in USA are captured by accidental bystanders and shared by the Black Lives Matter movement. The destruction and horror of the war in Syria are documented by activists, who after years of war have developed networks and acquired professional photo equipment – and skills. These practices change the role images play in conflicts, raising pressing issues about the production and veracity of images as well as safety, ethics and the politics of participation:

• Why and how does it matter that conflicts are documented and made visible to the outside world?
• How are images from conflicts created and shared in today’s connective media environment?
• How can the authenticity of images be established?

This conference aims to generate a conversation between scholars, NGO workers, photo editors and activists about the role performed by images in contemporary conflicts.


9:00-9:15 Welcome
9:15-10:00 Aida El Kashef – On her experience making images matter for a concrete social justice purpose in Egypt
10:00-10:45 TBA – On the truth of images and methods of verification
10:45-11:15 Coffee
11:15-12:00 Federico Escher – On how news organisations respond practically and policy-wise to the broad production of images
12:00-13:00 Lunch break (lunch will be available from the university canteen at participants’ own cost)
13:00-13:45 Zeynep Gürsel – On how digitalisation has changed labour practices and the way images are being commodified
13:45-14:30 Nina Grønlykke Mollerup and Mette Mortensen – On relationship between local Syrian photographers, NGOs and international news organisations
14:30-15:00 Coffee
15:00-15:45 Nicholas Mirzoeff – On why visibility matters from a contemporary and historical perspective, including how it influences conflict
15:45-17:00 Panel discussion, panelists TBA
17:00 Drinks reception

Attendance is free, but we appreciate registration by sending your name and affiliation to Nanna Juul Jensen at nannajj@hum.ku.dk.