Diane Dufour (ed.): Images of Conviction – The Construction of Visual Evidence
Each of these eleven case studies spanning the period from the invention of ‘metric’ photography of crime scenes in the nineteenth century to the reconstruction of a drone attack in Pakistan in 2012, offers an ‘archaeological’ analysis of the historical and geopolitical context in which the images appeared, as well as their purpose, the way they were produced and the specific framework of their reception.
The nature and the gravity of the facts described mean that no fallacious comparison must be allowed to simplify or reduce the ambit of such images. Coming not long after the invention of the medium, everyday use of photographs in the courtroom made the image’s power as truth an essential tool of conviction in the service of justice. This power as truth has been ardently debated, sometimes legitimately contested and often contradicted.
How does the image take shape in truth-seeking scientific and historical discourse?