In Defense of Anonymous Authors – On the Role of the Witness in the Blurred Reality of a Warzone
Presentation by Yuriy Hrytsyna
Since the advent of digital technologies and social networks, a witness is no longer someone who survives to tell the story, but rather someone who is able to record and share the event. Warzones, and social media as their extensions, are territories where images can be extracted at no cost and with no consequences. Anonymously created materials are used by the media, the public, and artists to construct or reconstruct a reality that is increasingly unreliable. By suppressing the corporeal dimensions of the events, war is transformed from the war of images into a war for images. Using the materials shared by soldiers and civilians since the beginning of the Russian invasion in Ukraine, we will think about the role of anonymous authors, as anthropologists of war, and their orphaned works in the creation of an imaginary archive of war.
Trigger warning: The presentation will include images of violence and other potentially (re)traumatizing content.
Yuriy Hrytsyna is an Ukrainian documentary filmmaker, photographer, film critic, and medical doctor. His critically-acclaimed experimental documentary film Varta1, Lviv, Ukraine (2016) received a FIPRESCI award at OIFF 2016. He works with the themes of the fragility of temporary archives and the mobilization potential of collective remembrance.