From: Freya (email suppressed)
Date: Sun Jan 11 2009 - 13:35:31 PST
Much of this discussion around politics is largely irrelevant. Civillians are suffering greatly at the hands of conflict. It doesn't matter if they are Israeli or Palestinian or Jewish or whatever, they are still people.
I would argue that it is not neccessary for the images of such things to be seen in the case of a greater political context. This is just an excuse to justify situations that have clearly gone very, very badly wrong. It is enough to see the pictures and to know that some kind of resolve to the situation must be found to prevent suffering and bloodshed.
As such providing cameras to Gaza seems very much fair enough. People should certainly be allowed to see what is happening in the world and to think about it.
Of course there are those who largely won't care at all but it is still good to provide information to those who do.
--- On Sun, 1/11/09, Peter Snowdon <email suppressed> wrote:
> From: Peter Snowdon <email suppressed>
> Subject: Re: Cameras for Gaza
> To: email suppressed
> Date: Sunday, January 11, 2009, 8:13 PM
> While I agree with much of what Fred says here, I think that
> cinema is not quite as powerless as he hints. Powerless, in
> terms of being able to provide context and/or rational
> understanding to events of apparent extreme irrationality.
> Eyal Sivan and Michel Khleifi's Route 181 is as
> substantial a contribution to understanding the current
> situation in Israel and Palestine as are the writings of,
> say, Amira Hass or Tanya Reinhart.
> And Avi Mograbi's films, above all Avenge but One of My
> Two Eyes, ask questions as complex and as uncomfortable as
> those to be found in any other medium or art form.
> Thinking in film isn't limited to montage or narration:
> it's also there in the hard work of giving a structure
> to the whole work which has the power to undo some of the
> simpler assumptions of representation, and turns us back to
> interrogate the resonances which these images, these events,
> these people set up within ourselves.
> An art form which can produce Tarkovsky, Straub and Mekas
> doesn't need to apologise to Thomas Mann, or to Noam
> Complexity is always there for the taking, or the making.
> It is up to us whether we want to accept its challenge, or
> Fred Camper wrote:
> > malgosia askanas wrote:
> > > Frameworks may not be the right place to debate
> politics, but it
> > > definitely is the right place to debate the
> meaning and political usage
> > > of images. This thread started with someone
> asking for donations to
> > > send cameras to Gaza. In these days of
> routinely staged and doctored
> > > images, is a "documentary" image really
> worth a thousand words? What IS
> > > a "documentary" image worth - without
> knowledge of the matter, without
> > > understanding and thought (all of which require
> words) - other than as a
> > > tool to stir up a knee-jerk reaction?
> > I don't agree with most of what's been posted
> here about Israel's war on Hamas, but I do agree with
> this. Images of killed civilians are not enough, and in fact
> could convey false impressions. I don't agree with
> Israel's attack, nor do I endorse the Allied firebombing
> of Dresden or the US nuking of two Japanese cities. But the
> Enola Gay flyers may well have been right to protest a
> planned exhibit over a decade ago that focused only on the
> bombing. They wanted a larger context, beginning with Pearl
> Harbor. But someone else could also argue that Pearl Harbor
> must be understood in the larger context of the US and
> Japanese imperialism that led up to it. Dresden must of
> course be understood in the context of World War II, started
> by the Germans, or, arguably, by the Germans and the USSR
> together, and not the Allies. The question of whether the
> firebombings of German civilians were justified then goes to
> questions such as whether such attacks helped shorten the
> war, saving other lives, or in fact did not help. Or, if
> you're a complete pacifist, then you have to argue that
> case. Or, if you're some kind of racist, and think
> German lives are less, or more, valuable than others, then
> you have to argue those positions. Is cinema even a good
> vehicle for asking such questions?
> > Cinema has in general not done a good job of making
> intellectual arguments. One might ask of the current war in
> Gaza, for example, under what circumstances is a war that
> will cause many civilian deaths justified? I might argue
> that rocket attacks that have killed no Israelis in recent
> months or years is not enough to justify the current war, in
> which, by now, more than a dozen Israelis have been killed.
> But others, including Israelis, can disagree, and those
> rocket attacks were in no sense legal, and certainly
> terrorized the population that they were directed against,
> and it seems to me that they were as morally unjustifiable
> as earlier Palestinian suicide bombings directed against
> Israeli civilians. The point is, reasonable people can
> disagree about this war, but such disagreements are moral
> and ethical and legal ones, and in that context, it's
> not clear how valuable documentary images from Gaza, or
> Sderot, would be. A complex skein of historical facts and
> arguments is needed to provide context. And even then,
> reasonable people can differ on how wide a net to cast and
> how far back to go in analyzing the situation. Who really
> broke the case fire? Was Israel's unilateral pullout
> from Gaza absent a peace treaty even a wise idea? Who is to
> blame for the absence of a peace treaty? Was Israel's
> earlier occupation of Gaza and the West Bank justified? Is
> its settlement policy justified? Are the decades of Arab
> terrorist attacks on Israel justified? Was founding the
> state if Israel a wise idea, and what about the 1948 Arab
> war to wipe the nascent state off the map? What role does
> knowledge of the Shoah (the "Holocaust") play? Or
> do we start our history with the modern European
> colonization of the Middle East, or with the Crusades, or
> with the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 A.D., or
> even earlier than that?
> > In most cases, I have found political documentaries
> sadly lacking in comparison with even a mediocre newspaper
> or magazine article. Moving pictures not only don't add
> much to my understanding of the issues; they can often help
> obscure understanding.
> > On the other hand, I'm not sure that banning
> reporting from Gaza is such a good idea either! Was the US
> military's ban on images of the coffins of and funerals
> of American soldiers killed in Iraq a good idea?
> > I don't know of a cinema that can sensibly debate,
> or even ask, these kinds of questions, so in that sense I
> agree with Malgosia's "require words"
> argument. Dziga Vertov made a tentative stab, though, at
> trying to edit images in a way that widens the context of
> what you see, as in, for example, his famous reverse montage
> starting with a dinner table back through the phases of meat
> > Fred Camper
> > Chicago
> > For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at
> <email suppressed>.
> For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at
> <email suppressed>.
For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.