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Abstract

In his article, "Globalizing Compassion, Photography, and the Challenge of Terror," Ariel Dorfman reflects on the use of photography to make global violence visible and to mourn the losses caused by acts of terror. Dorfman draws on events that range from the attacks on the World Trade Center to Pinochet's dictatorship to other similar atrocities and he shows that, while these events always feel singular in the moment, they are best understood comparatively. At the core of the paper is a central question: does the shared practice of using photos to represent terror help build bridges across humanity or does it serve as a form of separation? Does it help to globalize compassion or does it justify isolationism and protectionism? And behind these questions lies an even more disturbing concern: How do we mourn those who leave behind no photographic record? In a world that often seems like a superspectacle and where everything is offered up for visual consumption, the ultimate challenge to globalization lies in the lives that leave no visual record.

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