Conference 5 – 6 December 2016

Venue: Western Australia Maritime Museum, Victoria Quay, Fremantle, WA 6016


This event explores the powerful role of photography in shaping our understanding of human rights. Historically images have been a crucial way of disseminating ideas, creating a sense of proximity between peoples across the globe, and notions of a shared humanity.

In recent years scholars have begun to argue for new notions of photography that turn our attention to our responsibilities as viewers. A new interest in the medium’s social effects has displaced analysis of the photo as sign and the photographer as author, and raises compelling questions regarding affect and representation, the limits of empathy across racial, gender and class lines, and the complexity of understanding images of distant suffering. How do these insights help us to understand our own situation, and the varying forces of modern imagery? This conference seeks to explore these and other questions surrounding the historical reception of human rights via imagery and its legacies in the present.

Register for the Visualising Human Rights conference here


Photography: David Dare Parker. Senen, one of Jakarta’s poorest areas. Here people live in illegally erected shacks precariously near fast moving trains; Dili East Timor; East Timorese return to the burnt out remains of their homes only to find rogue elements with the departing Indonesian Military burning nearby buildings. September 1999; Dili attack; The machete being the weapon of choice, Independence supporters prepare for an expected pro-Jakarta Milita Attack near Hera. Dili East Timor September 1999.