Author Archives: Sharon Sliwinski

About Sharon Sliwinski

Sharon Sliwinski is an interdisciplinary scholar whose work bridges the fields of visual culture, political theory, and the life of the mind. Her first, awarding-winning book, Human Rights in Camera (University of Chicago Press, 2011), explored the visual politics of human rights. She has contributed broadly to the field of photography studies, most recently coediting Photography and the Optical Unconscious (Duke University Press, 2017). Her recent work investigates the social, political, and cultural significance of dream-life, which is represented in her book Dreaming in Dark Times (University of Minnesota Press, 2017) and online in The Museum of Dreams.

The Woman Who Walks Through Photographs

Abstract: This paper explores Michal Heiman’s creative strategy to imaginatively enter the space of asylum. Her recent project, Return: asylum (the Dress, 1855-2018), offers a new way to extend solidarity to people who have been subjugated by the institution. She actively enlists the public’s help in developing further strategies for connecting with those individuals who have been bereft of legal rights to property, family, or public hearing. This article explores Heiman’s crucial political intervention, which blends creative visual practice with object relations theory. Continue reading →

Evocative Objects: A Sexual Violence Primer

In her 2007 collection of essays Evocative Objects: Things We Think With, Sherry Turkle asked her contributors to explore their emotional and intellectual connections with everyday objects. According to the introduction, her book seeks to clarify “the inseparability of thought and feeling in our relationship to things.”1 The various chapters dwell on each of the authors’ felt relationship with the given object—a discarded pair of shoes, a beloved toy, a favorite car. The overall emphasis lies less on the instrumental power of each object than Continue reading → Continue reading →

The Storyteller: Observations on Murtada Bulbul’s “Swineherders”

This review engages Murtada Bulbul’s series of photographs of Bangladeshi swine herders (published in this issue), casting the photographer’s treatment as that of a storyteller. On one hand, this treatment suggests the importance of visual-cultural forms for the very legibility of human rights. On the other hand, Bulbul’s pictures can teach us something about what it means to live a “bare life,” that is, to live at the edges of the human community.