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Tourists as post-witnesses in documentary film: Sergei Loznitsa's Austerlitz (2016) and Rex Bloomstein's KZ (2006)

Clarke, David 2019. Tourists as post-witnesses in documentary film: Sergei Loznitsa's Austerlitz (2016) and Rex Bloomstein's KZ (2006). Oñati Socio-Legal Series 10.35295/osls.iisl/0000-0000-0000-1045

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Abstract

This article compares two documentary films that address an apparent crisis of post-witnessing at memorials that commemorate the victims of National Socialism. In the context of contemporary debates about appropriate behaviour for tourists at sites of “dark” or “difficult” heritage, Sergei Loznitsa’s Austerlitz (2016) and Rex Bloomstein’s KZ (2006) take very different approaches to observing the act of visiting concentration camp memorials. Whereas Loznitsa adopts an observational documentary mode, constructing a cultural hierarchy between the touristic observer and the cinematic observer at memorials in Germany, Bloomstein’s film uses a participatory mode to prompt the viewer to consider the complexities of the affective-discursive practice of tourists engaging with the suffering of victims at the Mauthausen memorial in Austria. The article argues that Bloomstein’s decision to adopt a participatory approach is more productive in allowing us to think about the significance of responses to victims’ suffering at such sites.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: In Press
Schools: Modern Languages
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DD Germany
Publisher: Oñati International Institute for the Sociology of Law
ISSN: 2079-5971
Related URLs:
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 15 March 2019
Date of Acceptance: 26 February 2019
Last Modified: 08 Oct 2019 13:18
URI: http://orca-mwe.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/120796

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