Next Article in Journal
An Aesthetic Pattern of Nonbelonging—Immigration and Identity in Contemporary Israeli Art
Next Article in Special Issue
Martha Rosler’s Protest
Previous Article in Journal
A Pathway Home: Connecting Museum Collections with Native Communities
Previous Article in Special Issue
Weegee, Standing By
Open AccessEssay

Whose Streets? Police Violence and the Recorded Image

Program in Art History, School of Art and Design, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Champaign, IL 61820, USA
Arts 2019, 8(4), 155;
Received: 23 August 2019 / Revised: 12 November 2019 / Accepted: 14 November 2019 / Published: 26 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Street Photography Reframed)
This essay reframes street photography in terms of the images and videos taken by bystanders who find themselves witness to egregious acts of state-sanctioned police violence against black and brown bodies in the United States. Along the way, it challenges the belief that bystanders are “innocent” observers and investigates the meaning of “evidence” and the role of representation in order to argue for a model of seeing that can simultaneously reveal moments of ongoing racial debilitation and work to create new political subjects capable of transformative collective action. The goal is twofold: (1) to disrupt a history of photography—and more specifically a history of street photography—that emphasizes innovation, biography, and universal experience; and (2) to reorient what it means to discuss the politics of the image (in particular, the digital “documentary” image) away from a discourse that either privileges “uncertainty” or understands images as empty simulations, and toward one that acknowledges representation’s complexity but also its ongoing power. In the United States, we may never be able to tell a story in and about public space without replaying scenes of violence and targeted assault, but this essay argues that finding ways to let voices and images from the past—both tragic and redemptive—resonate in the present and speak to us in the future, may provide some way forward. View Full-Text
Keywords: documentary; police brutality; police violence; street photography; witness photography documentary; police brutality; police violence; street photography; witness photography
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Weissman, T. Whose Streets? Police Violence and the Recorded Image. Arts 2019, 8, 155.

AMA Style

Weissman T. Whose Streets? Police Violence and the Recorded Image. Arts. 2019; 8(4):155.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Weissman, Terri. 2019. "Whose Streets? Police Violence and the Recorded Image" Arts 8, no. 4: 155.

Find Other Styles
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

Search more from Scilit
Back to TopTop