Our Brothers’ Keeper: moral witness

Alex Danchev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

This article considers the practice of witness in the world – witness to the world – in particular the character and temper, nature and purpose, significance and resonance of “moral witness,” a kind of ideal type, as conceived by the philosopher Avishai Margalit. It proposes that the artist plays an important role as a moral witness; and that the work of art itself performs the same function, even after the fact – the phenomenon of “post-witness.” In this context it identifies an ethics of precision or exactitude, and adduces a variety of exemplars, ranging from poetry to photography, including Shot at Dawn (2014), a suite of landscape photographs which are also war photographs and memorial photographs, and acts of moral witness, by Chloe Dewe Mathews.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191-200
JournalAlternatives
Volume40
Issue number3-4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2015

Keywords

  • Witness
  • Moral witness
  • Post-witness
  • Exactitude
  • Terror
  • Torture
  • War photography

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