Digital Archives of Feelings and their Haunted Futures
This article addresses the ways in which digitalised accounts of warfare and violence can shape emotional responses to death and suffering, as well as particular possibilities of remembering, forgetting and future accountability. Empirically, the article focuses on the photoblog of a Russian web journalist Rustem Adagamov, whose coverage of the events in Gaza attracted hundreds of comments from readers. Looking at Adagamov’s blog from the distance of the past two years—the years of Goldstone report and the controversies surrounding it; of Israel’s deadly storming of the ‘Freedom Flotilla’; of the ongoing blockade and military attacks in Gaza and of other warfare in the region—this article attempts to imagine how narratives and public perceptions of war and death, captured by digital archives, would appear to future historians or archaeologists. My discussion is less concerned with speculations about their hypothetical reactions; what I am suggesting instead is that we should try to adopt an imaginary standpoint of a future archaeologist, or rather, of a future advocate of those from whom humanness and the right to life were denied both physically and discursively. I argue that adopting such a viewpoint as both a conceptual and an ethical anchor, we can take haunted futurity as a base for today’s transformation to justice and conviviality.
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© borderlands ejournal 2011