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The Visual Side of Privacy: State-Incriminating, Coproduced Archives

The Visual Side of Privacy: State-Incriminating, Coproduced Archives In Eichmann in Jerusalem, Hannah Arendt illustrates the “lesser of two evils” principle by relating the peculiar story of a state archive of photographs of women in swimwear. During the Nazi period, she writes, to receive a marriage license Czech women applying to marry German soldiers were required to furnish a photograph of themselves dressed in swimwear. Taking its cue from this historic example, this study traces the evolution of a phenomenon the author describes as state-incriminating, coproduced archives, visual archives that are coproduced by representatives of the legal and political order in the name of law, and by the subjects who are obliged to participate in their creation: staging and documenting their own performance to become or remain lawful citizens. Examining this kind of visual surveillance and the “extraterritorial” quality of the produced images, a line is drawn to privacy infringement in today’s professed democracies. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Public Culture Duke University Press

The Visual Side of Privacy: State-Incriminating, Coproduced Archives

Public Culture , Volume 32 (1) – Jan 1, 2020

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Copyright
Copyright © 2020 by Duke University Press
ISSN
0899-2363
eISSN
1527-8018
DOI
10.1215/08992363-7816353
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

In Eichmann in Jerusalem, Hannah Arendt illustrates the “lesser of two evils” principle by relating the peculiar story of a state archive of photographs of women in swimwear. During the Nazi period, she writes, to receive a marriage license Czech women applying to marry German soldiers were required to furnish a photograph of themselves dressed in swimwear. Taking its cue from this historic example, this study traces the evolution of a phenomenon the author describes as state-incriminating, coproduced archives, visual archives that are coproduced by representatives of the legal and political order in the name of law, and by the subjects who are obliged to participate in their creation: staging and documenting their own performance to become or remain lawful citizens. Examining this kind of visual surveillance and the “extraterritorial” quality of the produced images, a line is drawn to privacy infringement in today’s professed democracies.

Journal

Public CultureDuke University Press

Published: Jan 1, 2020

References