"Photography and the Bio-politics of Fear: Witnessing the Philippine Drug War," a lecture by Vicente L. Rafael

Wednesday, October 30, 2019 at 12:30pm to 2:00pm

This is a past event.

Kaprielian Hall (KAP), 352
3620 South Vermont Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90089

One of the earliest and most graphic responses to the current Philippine drug war has been the work of photojournalists. They have elicited a plurality of responses from around the country and the world. This talk raises a series of questions. How does photojournalism become a kind of advocacy by becoming a mode of mourning? How are trauma and grieving braided together in the experience of photographers covering war? What is the fate of photographic images once they travel beyond the control of photographers? For example, among the family of victims and those in working class neighborhoods, how are images of the dead received? How do their views affirm or question the State? Indeed, how has the drug war, by instilling a bio-politics of fear, transformed their ways of seeing? What becomes of justice amid images of injustice under a regime of fear?

Vicente L. Rafael is the Giovanni and Amne Costigan Professor in History at the University of Washington, Seattle. He is the author of several works on the cultural politics of the Philippines including Contracting Colonialism, White Love and Other Events in Filipino History, The Promise of the Foreign, and Motherless Tongues, all published by Duke University Press. 

Photo credit: Raffy Lerma, Philippine Daily Inquirer

Event Type

Lecture / Talk / Workshop, Event Highlights


Students, Alumni, Faculty/Staff


University Park Campus


Anthropology, Dornsife, visual anthropology, employees


#anthropology, dornsife

Add this to your calendar

Recent Activity