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As video becomes an important tool to expose injustice, Seeing Human Rights (MIT Press, 2021) examines how human rights collectives seek to professionalize video activism through video production, verification standards, and training. The result is a proxy profession that helps legitimize video’s potential to serve distinct policy functions while brokering human rights voices in journalism, the law, and political advocacy. Spanning over seven years of research, the book is based on fieldwork, textual analysis of human rights videos and court trial transcripts, as well as interviews with 60 human rights staffers and attorneys at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and the International Criminal Court.
Sandra Ristovska is Assistant Professor of Media Studies at the College of Media, Communication, and Information at the University of Colorado Boulder. Her research, informed by her experiences as a documentary filmmaker, focuses on the interplay between images and human rights, particularly in institutional and legal contexts. A 2021 Mellon/ACLS Scholars and Society Fellow, Ristovska’s new project examines the use of video as evidence in U.S. courts and is conducted as part of a research residency at the Scientific Evidence Committee of the Science and Technology Law Section of the American Bar Association.
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