A Right to the Image


2016 Season

In our media-saturated world, victims of wars and mass violations of human rights are often depicted as bodies rather than as individuals. Representations of human suffering and injustice are not only aesthetic choices; they are also political and ethical choices. Thus comes the proposed concept of “a right to the image”—a complex, multilayered idea that is not associated with any single right, but rather a group of rights. By examining different bodies of film and photographic work, we explore the notion of a right to the image that protects the dignity of subjects, as well as the integrity of the journalists, filmmakers, photographers, and researchers who work in these situations. This programme will run 90 minutes. 

This programme features a panel discussion with:

Giles Duley, filmmaker, journalist, photographer

Charif Kiwan, co-founder and spokesperson, Abounaddara Collective

Kim Longinotto, filmmaker

Giles Duley, Charif Kiwan, Kim Longinotto
English, Arabic, French
Filmmaker Bio(s): 
Giles Duley
filmmaker, journalist, photographer

Giles Duley was born in 1971 in London. After 10 years as an editorial photographer in the fashion and music industries in the United States and Europe, Duley now focuses on humanitarian projects, working with several respected charities to highlight lesser-known stories that deserve public attention and action. Although documenting challenging and sometimes horrific situations, Duley captures the strength of those who fight rather than succumb to adversity. In 2011, while on patrol in Afghanistan with the United States Army’s 75th Cavalry Regiment, Duley stepped on an improvised explosive device (IED). He lost both legs and an arm. Despite his injuries, Duley is again working as a photographer. His work has been exhibited and published worldwide in many respected publications, including Vogue, GQ, Esquire, Rolling Stone, the Sunday Times, the Observer, and the New Statesman

Charif Kiwan
co-founder and spokesperson, Abounaddara Collective

Charif Kiwan is the spokesperson for the anonymous filmmaking collective known publicly as Abounaddara, who formed in 2010 and began posting short films weekly on Fridays in April 2011—one month after the start of large-scale demonstrations throughout Syria. The collective’s first post included a manifesto titled Que faire? (What to do?), which addressed the need to represent the reality on the ground in Syria while respecting human dignity. What was initially a close group of self-taught filmmakers in Damascus grew into a larger collective of anonymous and voluntary filmmakers that incorporates many voices and perspectives, telling the stories of Syrians living amid the social turmoil that has since become an ongoing civil war. Collectively sharing files online or smuggling flash drives with traveling friends, Abounaddara posts one video each week, working in what they call “emergency cinema” to highlight the urgency of the moment, the need to bear witness, and the importance of producing images that counter state television broadcasts. 

Kim Longinotto

Kim Longinotto is a British documentary filmmaker, well known for making films that highlight the plight of female victims of oppression or discrimination. Longinotto studied camera and directing at the National Film and Television School in Beaconsfield, England, where she tutors occasionally. While studying, she made a documentary about her boarding school that was shown at the London Film Festival. She continues to be a prolific documentary filmmaker.