People - Face of Terror - Understanding Terrorism from the Perspective of Critical Media Aesthetics (2016-2020)
Core group and Network
Professor Anne Gjelsvik is project leader, professor Aud Sissel Hoel is co-project leader, and professor Ingvild Folkvord, together with the PhD-students Mads Outzen and Nadége Lourme are the core members of the research group at Faculty of Humanities, NTNU.
The Face of Terror project also has international co-operation. The most important collaborator are associate professor Mette Mortensen at Copenhagen University who is also heading the project Images of Conflict, Conflict Images.
Robert Burgoyne (University of St.Andrews, UK), Mary Anne Doane (University of California Berkeley, USA), Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht (Stanford University, USA), W.J.T Mitchell (University of Chicago, USA) and Jonathan Cole (Poole Hospital, UK) are all international collaborators on the project.
We are also affiliated with the project “Radikalisering og motstand” at UiO.
About the researchers
Anne Gjelsvik is doing research on the mediation of the terrorist attacks in Norway in 2011, focusing on photography, film and literature. She will also be investigating the representations of terrorists and victims in contemporary fiction films, both European and American, with an emphasis on stereotypical representations of terrorism. Gjelsvik is also coordinating Face of Terror’s outreach and the project’s substantial collaboration with other parties (including our guest researchers, Tromsø International Filmfestival and Trondheim Dokumentarfestival).
Aud Sissel Hoel’s contribution on the project is primarily theoretical and centered on media agency with photography as her main focus. She will be investigating iconoclasm as one of her studies on the project.
Ingvild Folkvord´s research on the Face of Terror Project focuses on various literary and semiotic practices, such as the novel, poetry and the law, investigating how they contribute to awareness and sense-making confronted with contemporary terrorism. A central case in her work is the terrorist attacks in Norway 2011.
PhD-student Mads Outzen is researching the potential role cinema can play in human resiliency after terror attacks. Looking closely at documentary portrayals of surviving victims and witnesses, in the form of audiovisual testimony, his PhD project, entitled “Facing Terror”, explores the ways in which these mediations guide and instruct processes of resiliency work on the part of spectators. Examining how they establish as well as operate as affective and ethical “face-to-face” encounters that contribute to an enhanced experience and understanding of the consequences of terrorism, the project proposes that they contain a capacity for aiding us in dealing with and healing from trauma and tragedy in the aftermath of terror attacks.
The aim of Nadége Lourme’s PhD project “Facing and de-facing terror with fictional moving images” is to take a closer look at the faces of terror that populate fiction moving pictures: the perpetrators’, victims’ and witnesses’ faces and to examine how those terrifying and terrified faces drive the spectator out of his polarised, stereotyped and preconceived representations of terrorism. To do so, it will, by leaning on a phenomenological theoretical framework, scrutinise the spectator’s perceptual encounter with filmic terror faces and delineate how, at this very level, the moving images can urge her to reconfigure her own act of perception and finally embody ethical understanding of terrorism. This project will then define this carnal ethical insight as both the ability of the film to physionomise terror faces, i.e. to renew their expressive power, and the capacity of the spectator to face it, i.e. to welcome screen face(s) and ultimately the one of the film.
Mette Mortensen is investigating the use of photographs of terrorists in news media through perspectives from mass communication, and she will collaborate with Hoel on a study of iconoclasm.