London College of Communication, University of the Arts London launchesEthics for Making in partnership with Lotus Films, 15 October 2020.
The free, digital resource provides a space for students, teachers and makers to explore ethics in creative practice.
Focusing on five key themes of consent, representation, responsibility, freedom and collaboration, Ethics for Making invites audiences to explore ethical considerations through the lens of Professor Pratap Rughani’s documentary film, Justine, which follows a young woman living with severe neurological disorders in the lead-up to a milestone birthday.
Developed using the responses of a range of filmmakers, teachers and students to the film, which has been shown internationally at conferences, film festivals and online teaching sessions, the site has been shaped into 2 distinct areas: the exploratory information resource, ‘Home’, which offers a range of audio, film and written content; and an ‘Immersive Taster’, which provides an innovative browsing experience using the specialist software, Klynt. Developed in France, Klynt enables audiences to engage with film through particularly responsive methods.
28 July 11 – 12:45 SCA 204 in the session The Ethics and Politics of New Documentary Technologies Professor Rughani presents a paper: Testing Documentary Ethics in Research and Making: An Online Tool for Learning and Teaching.
Who goes where? The Ethics of Representation in documentary
“We look into the ethics of representation and ethics of production in documentary as an inextricable cycle, addressing documentary’s legacy of ethnography and its distillation into modern documentary practice. Our panellists will address the thin line between ‘subject’ and ‘object’; who is looking at who from both behind and in front of the camera and what might constitute a meaningful dialogue between the two.”
This chapter investigates the relationship between ethics and aesthetics in forms of documentary arts and film practice, with a focus on the tension between ‘responsibility’ and ‘artistic freedom’ as interpreted by documentary artists and filmmakers.
Are You a Vulture? Reflecting on the ethics and aesthetics of atrocity coverage and its aftermath Rughani, Pratap (2010). Book Chapter published in: Peace Journalism, War and Conflict Resolution Peter Lang : Oxford, pp 157 – 172.
This chapter is framed by a sequence of documentary still images raising practice-based research questions about the nature of photographic representation of atrocity. Photographs are accompanied by practitioner reflections following a photographic essay responding to a series of caste-based murders in Khairlanji village, Maharashtra, central India.
Remembering KhairlanjiCAUTION: You may prefer not to look at the following slides of the murdered Bhotmange family. They are included to help contextualise reflections on ethical questions that follow.
The images in this gallery were taken for a photographic essay called ‘Remembering Khairlanji’. They form part of an exploration of documentary ethics discussed in the book chapter, “Are you a vulture? Reflecting on the ethics and aesthetics of coverage of atrocity and its aftermath” in “Journalism, War and Conflict Resolution” ed. R. Keeble, J.Tulloch & F. Zollmann, Foreword by John Pilger. Peter Lang (2010)
“This chapter is framed by a sequence of documentary still images raising practice-based research questions about the nature of photographic representation of atrocity. Photographs are accompanied by practitioner reflections following a photographic essay responding to a series of caste-based murders in Khairlanji village, Maharashtra, central India.
The images throw up reflections on ethical and aesthetic choices in how to document atrocity. In addition to the shock of these events, I was stimulated (and humbled) in this work by reflecting on Susan Sontag’s critique of Holocaust photography as in general (to paraphrase) “re-victimising the victim.” What is the tension between striving to convey the full weight of and horror of such atrocities and the risk of cheapening (or worse) these events, at a time when some regard much contemporary media as already too sanitized. Are images of suffering, war and atrocity necessarily exploitative or are we coddled – protecting ourselves from fuller engagement with such realities? In the light of this, what might ‘ethical’ coverage look like?”
CAUTION: You may prefer not to look at the following slides of the murdered Bhotmange family.
They are included to help contextualise reflections on ethical questions that follow.