Images of the brutalized, dead, and dying can buy awards and recognition for journalists. When the opportunity presents itself, many rush to participate because they subscribe to the doctrine of redistributing pain as it is, not as it should be.
William C. Anderson
William C. Anderson is a freelance writer. His work has been published by the Guardian, Truthout, MTV, and Pitchfork among others. He’s co-author of As Black as Resistance (AK Press 2018).
Marches Can Only Come and Go: The Reality of Dread Scott’s “Slave Rebellion”
In highlighting a neglected piece of history that struck fear in the hearts of white enslavers, Scott made a statement about who gets to mine our history, simultaneously prompting questions about intentions, impact, and praxis.
Dread Scott’s “Slave Rebellion” Promises an Empowering Take on the Historical Reenactment Trope
In 1811, hundreds of enslaved people marched through Louisiana chanting “freedom or death.” While their oft-forgotten journey ended in massacre, artist Dread Scott spent six years organizing a reenactment to celebrate the legacy of their courage, to be staged November 8-9.
Photographer Nydia Blas and Her “Black Feminine Lens”
In spaces where many seek to center experiences of the overlooked, Blas begins by challenging why we’re all looking in the first place.
When a Lynching Memorial Becomes a Photo Opportunity
A reflection on the commodification of Jim Crow’s violence through public memorials.
Against Consuming Images of the Brutalized, Dead, and Dying
Reproducing and repurposing brutal visuals carries the risk of desensitizing, and further reinforcing the terrorizing normalization of what shouldn’t be mundane.