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Asale Angel-Ajani, Carolyn J. Dean, and Meg McLagan

Abstract

This special feature presents curated excerpts from two virtual conversations that the editors (Liana Chua and Omri Grinberg) held with anthropologist and author Asale Angel-Ajani, historian Carolyn J. Dean and anthropologist and filmmaker Meg McLagan on the theme of witnessing. Beginning with the participants’ reflexive discussions of how they came to work on witnessing, the conversations delve into several intertwined questions and debates. These include the politics and impacts of witnessing; the performativity of witnessing and the subjectivities involved; the evolving place and practice of witnessing in the contemporary post-truth, digitally saturated milieu; the ‘dark side’ and other problematics of witnessing; how different disciplines witness and represent witnessing; and the question of what scholars can do to witness or bear witness in the present.