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7820 - (Visual) Representation / experience and reality in the context of the shattered city of Ciudad Juárez

During my fieldwork in the mexican city of Ciudad Juárez which was formerly known as the city where hundreds of women have been murdered and which is now being heavily exposed to the ongoing mexican drug war, I got to know the big discrepancy between the (visual) media representation of the city and its inhabitants and my own experiences in situ. It is not just about the international press but also about the mexican press and the images it delivered to the Mexican people of what is going on in the border zone. Once again, the question must be raised about whether visual images are able to depict reality and whether personal experience can be called a part of reality at any time? In my presentation I’d like to expose what it means for the city and its population to be represented in a determined way and what kind of aims are pursued by the different actors which are drawing a certain picture of the situation. I’d like to ask the question if it is ever possible to create understanding with the help of visual means and personal experience trying to explain the daily violence within the context of the mexican drug war?

Keywords: (visual) representation, violence, Ciudad Juárez

Author: Katzensteiner, Elisabeth (University of Vienna, Austria / Österreich)

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