Norrköping Visualisation Center
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Thursday June 7th 2018, 6 PM

Organiser: Sarah Mitchell.
Theme: Truth, lies and photographs

Replayed TED Talks:
Donald Hoffman: Do we see reality as it is?
Taryl Simon: Photographs of secret sites

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Sarah is a Ph.D. candidate at the Department of Thematic Studies at Linköping University. Her research focuses on the visual culture of fatherhood, with a particular focus on photographs of fathers from different cultural contexts. She holds a master’s degree in Child Studies from LiU, as well as a master’s degree in Sociology, which she obtained in her home country of South Africa. Sarah is also interested in Buddhist philosophy – something which has had a deep impact on her ways of seeing and being in the world.

Lately there has been much talk of ‘fake news’, and the idea that we are living in a ‘post-truth’ era. At the same time, the assumption that ‘seeing is believing’ is still deeply ingrained. We believe that if we have visual evidence of something, it must be true. This is often illustrated by the way we respond to photographs – treating them as ‘proof’ of a knowable reality. While it might be tempting to see photographs in this way, I would like to challenge this assumption by looking deeper into the complex processes involved in seeing. Through this talk, we will have the opportunity to reflect on our own notions of truth and reality and how we try to use our sense of sight to ‘know’ the world around us. We will have the chance to draw on Buddhist philosophy, theories of visual culture and our own, personal experiences as we explore ideas of truth and reality in relation to photographs.

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