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Dr Siobhan Kattago - 'Being and not being there: Holocaust memorials, selfies and social media'

When Mar 04, 2021
from 01:00 PM to 02:00 PM
Where Online via Zoom
Contact Name
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Event series: Cambridge Heritage Seminars

Event speaker: Dr Siobhan Kattago (University of Tartu) 

Online via Zoom! Registration required - click here


Being and not being there: Holocaust memorials, selfies and social media

Recent art demonstrates how a new commemorative culture is emerging with the advent of mass tourism and social media. The talk examines two art projects: Yolocaust, by Shahak Shapira reacting to selfies taken at the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin and Austerlitz, a documentary film by Sergei Loznitsa, recording the behaviour of visitors to concentration camp memorials. As spectators to the suffering of others, how might we be ironically caught between moral blindness and obsession when visiting memorials commemorating mass murder? Yolocaust and Austerlitz encourage viewers to stop and think about where they are, to be present rather than to view each experience from the mediated perspective of a possible photograph. It is not simply that we should put down our devices, but rather be mindful of the power that the camera’s mediating filter has on how we experience and share the world. In looking for the desired photograph or perfect selfie, we project ourselves forward into a near future that may inadvertently lead to our removal from the very place that we came to visit.


skattago Siobhan Kattago is a Senior Research Fellow in Practical Philosophy at the University of Tartu in Estonia. Her recent publications include: Encountering the Past within the Present: Modern Experiences of Time (2020), The Ashgate Research Companion to Memory Studies (editor, 2015) and Memory and Representation in Contemporary Europe (2012).


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