Digital Testimony and the Future of Witnessing

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Abstract

Testimonies are shaped by individually and institutionally embedded practices framed by a wide range of aims extending beyond empirical historical content or visceral impact. Some moments in testimonies emphasize how witnesses express themselves through tone of voice, physical gestures, and frequent silences. This chapter explores the audiovisual testimonies of the Visual History Archive with the aim of cultivating “testimonial literacy,” or an eye and ear for sensing the layers, ruptures, and tensions that mark the processes of giving and receiving accounts of the Shoah. The concept of postmemory has potentially strong purchase in regard to audiovisual testimonies, even though it was originally developed in response to photographs and other still images of the Holocaust. More specifically, the “embodied knowledge” that is being transferred to postmemory generations is increasingly manifest in the form of digitized video testimonies across a multitude of venues including museums, archives, and online platform.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationA Companion to the Holocaust
EditorsSimone Gigliotti, Hilary Earl
Place of PublicationHoboken NJ USA
PublisherWiley-Blackwell
Chapter30
Pages537-551
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781118970508, 9781118970515
ISBN (Print)9781118970522
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Publication series

NameBlackwell Companions to History
PublisherWiley Blackwell

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