Ensayos sobre el abismo: Políticas de la mirada, violencia, tecnopolítica [Essays on the abyss: Politics of the gaze, violence, technopolitics]

Reguillo, R. (2023). Ensayos sobre el abismo: Políticas de la mirada, violencia, tecnopolítica. Encartes, 6(11).

Link: https://doi.org/10.29340/en.v6n11.317

Open access: Yes

Notes: In this essay, Rossana Reguillo explores the politics of visibility and its implication in our understanding of violence and of the atrocious. For Reguillo, the politics of visibility refers to “that set of tactics and strategies that, on a daily basis, manage the gaze, that which produces effects on the way in which we perceive and are perceived, that which closes and opens other paths, that which reduces or restores complexity” (p. 8). She analyzes the implications of the politics of visibility through two cases: A photo of torture by American soldiers in Aby Ghraib and a photo of the inert body of Ernestine, a woman raped by Mexican soldiers. These two cases illustrates how, through images, the human body “become ‘lives that do not matter,’ that are left over, lives that cannot be mourned, lives through which power casts those bodies into an interpretative void or, better, puts them to work in an interpretative register anchored in the normalization of the violence exercised; those bodies as a surface of inscription of the anomaly that justifies or explains what happens to them” (p. 12). In this scenario, Reguillo notes the need for new cartographies of meaning that allow us to produce new narratives, new gazes of violence. To do this, she first explores arts, performance, and journalism. She then focuses on methodological implications through which research can create these new cartographies, drawing from actor-network theory and techno-politics.

Abstract: The essay incorporates three large areas of transformations that have shaken up the contemporary scene: institutional deterioration, the detonation of the social pact(s), and the exhaustion of ecosystems, both biological and sociopolitical. The objective is to think about the impacts of these transformations on our mindsets and address the critical work involved in the production of knowledge about the world. This essay brings the question of methodological imagination to the center of the discussion in an attempt to illuminate an area that often is opaque in academic work. Three dimensions that have marked the work of Rossanna Reguillo as a researcher and thinker about the modern world are addressed, deepening understanding of the social production of meaning and the dynamics of power.

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