Actors on the ground producing and disseminating images

Nina Grønlykke Mollerup, Postdoc, UCPH 

This sub-project aims to contribute to the study of the ongoing, fundamental changes to images from conflicts by focusing on the actors taking and sharing contentious images, which reach wider publics, and the immediate, on-the-ground circumstances they act in. While connective media have significantly changed the potential of non-elite actors to engage in taking and sharing images, their ability to do so is influenced by technology, skills, and access to networks, infrastructure and physical locations, and it is often severely challenged by threats to their safety and the safety of their images.

Investigating the actors’ perspective in different empirical contexts is central to understanding the changing role of images in conflicts and of pressing ethical importance. This proposed sub-project of ICCI seeks to focus on the actors’ perspectives by addressing the research question (RQ): How is the ability of on the ground actors in conflict zones to produce and spread images influenced by access to places, technology, networks and infrastructure, skills, and safety concerns? The sub-project takes a point of departure in ethnographic methods, particularly interviews and digital ethnography. It investigates the actors’ perspectives through at least three cases that represent different conflictual contexts, including Aleppo while the city was controlled by anti-regime forces and Egypt during the uprising from 2011-13.