Brad Evans and Henry A. Giroux – We Have Become Spectators of Instead of Witnesses to the Violence of Our Times

The following is an excerpt from the new book  Disposable Futures: The Seduction of Violence in the Age of Spectacle [3] by Brad Evans and Henry A. Giroux (City Lights Books, 2015): 

Despite the daily spectacles of violence to which we are all continually subjected, never before has the selection and careful manipulation of violent aesthetics been so heavily policed, in terms of both their representation and their authenticating narratives. Some images are simply deemed too sensitive for public consumption due to the “raw realities” they force us to encounter. Such policing is not, however, about adhering to set principles or ethical standards concerning the circulation of violent imagery.

As we have shown, our societies are flooded by images of violence, albeit in ways that serve to prioritize the spectacle over more complex compositions. Rather, regimes of mediated power and subjugation render certain images “intolerable” for the administration of neoliberal social control. When it suits its purposes, power uses spectacle to completely overlook the humanity of the people and communities victimized, and denies purposeful discussion about the broader political and historical contexts necessary to interpret events.

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