"The Full Spectrum of Photography: On the Aesthetics of Multi-Representational Slowness in the Works of Kent Klich"

By By Mette Sandbye, professor of photography, art critic and head of the Department of Arts and Cultural Studies at Copenhagen University.

Published in Kent Klich : Gaza Works, 2017 Wolthers, L. & Dragana Vujanovic, Ö. (red.). London: Walther König Verlag

Drug addiction, prostitution, homelessness, war, and broken families: these are all subjects that have been the focus of Kent Klich’s work over the past thirty years. All his projects share a profound interest in human rights and the belief that everyone has the right to be recognized as a human being, regardless of their social background, family relations, or living situation. He seeks to capture this through what I call the ‘aesthetics of multirepresentational slowness’. ‘Multirepresentational’ describes Klich’s use of almost all of the representational possibilities of photography: from large-format conceptual colour images to grainy black-and-white reportage snapshots to existing family photos, often combined with text in various formats. He has used this strategy in each of his projects. ‘Slowness’ refers to the fact that Klich normally works on the same subject for many years, but also to the way that his combination of aesthetic forms in each project slows down the viewer’s appreciation as they seek to grasp the message of each piece. Another important dimension of his working method is his collaboration with a wide range of people: both with human rights activists, local informants, and authors who have contributed texts produced specifically for his books, and with the people depicted in his photographs. As a result, the list of thanks on the last page of his book Killing Time (2013) includes hundreds of names, from the family members who lent him their photographs to his interpreter and many other collaborative partners on the project.
Klich initially trained as a psychologist before switching to photography. He was born and raised in Sweden, with a Swedish mother and a father from Poland, who had spent five years in concentration camps during World War II before coming to Sweden. Klich spent many vacations in Poland and in other parts of Europe as a child. As an adult he moved to Denmark, which remains his base. Nationality has therefore always been something fluid for him. Throughout his career, he has unapologetically tackled issues of fundamental human rights, constantly threatened as they are by nationalism and battles over territory, by global economic and social inequality, by ineffcient political systems, by prejudice or religious differences, or by human indifference.
At first glance, Klich may seem to operate in the field of traditional documentarism or photo journalism, but this is not the case, although he was affiliated with the Magnum photo agency between 1998 and 2002. The representational form of photo journalism was too limiting for what he wanted to articulate. Instead, he has developed his own particular approach: reformulating both art and documentary photography by combining the diverse forms of materiality and expression – such as reportage, documentary, art, and political activism – that the medium of photography offers, unlike most other media.
Although Klich has exhibited widely in galleries as well as outdoor spaces, books have always been his preferred medium. The book format allows for multi-representational slowness, for experiments with various forms of images and texts, and for subjects that are more complex than what a restless and impatient exhibition visitor is usually willing to take in. Another advantage of the book is the possibility of cultural circulation both within and outside established institutions and across geographical borders. Klich’s aesthetics of multirepresentational slowness can be seen in his most recent body of work from Gaza, although this approach was already consistently applied in his long-term project about the Danish woman Beth, which he began in 1983.

Picture Imperfect
Klich has been photographing and collaborating with Beth for more than three decades.1 He got to know her when she was a drug addict and sex worker living in Vesterbro, the red-light district of Copenhagen. He started photographing her life in a direct, black-and-white snapshot style, recalling the work of photographers such as William Klein, Bruce Davidson, Larry Clark, and Nan Goldin. In his photographs we see Beth in bed with a client, injecting heroin into her body, collapsed on her bed, and nearly comatose from an overdose of sleeping pills; we see close-ups of her untidy apartment. We also witness his portrayal of the death of Beth`s brother, who died of an overdose. In 1989 Klich published The Book of Beth in English (Danish, Swedish, and Norwegian versions were published the previous year).
An important objective of this first project with and about Beth was the use of one individual case to portray the interrelated problems of drugs and prostitution as a general social issue, and to criticize a society unable to provide a solution, leaving people to fend for themselves. This point of departure is, in a sense, quite typical for socially-engaged documentary photography, and can be traced back to the birth of the genre and the work of pioneering photographers such as Jacob A. Riis and Lewis Hine. A perennial dilemma for this kind of documentarism is the almost inevitable exposure of the portrayed subjects. If we are to be confronted with other people’s needs and miseries – and preferably be moved to take a stand – we have to see their misfortune. But there is always a risk that viewers will merely be fascinated by the ‘exotic other’ and will therefore distance themselves from the subject. This situation may contain an element of social pornography, as seminal critics argued in the late 1970s and early 1980s.2 One such example is Larry Clark’s 1971 book Tulsa, in which the photographer showed the everyday lives of young drug abusers in an unprecedented and highly confrontational manner. The book was controversial because it appeared as though the photographer himself had also led that life, and that he had grown extremely close to his subjects, capturing their daily living conditions with very little distance. Nearly thirty years later, working against the aforementioned background of criticism of the tradition of social, humanistic photo documentarism, Boris Mikhailov attempted to solve the problem of what John Tagg has called ‘the burden of representation’ related to the genre.3 In the foreword to his book Case History (1999), Mikhailov addresses the ethical problems related to photographing poverty, while arguing that someone needs to do it, especially because problems related to homelessness – the subject of his book – were not
officially recognized in Ukraine. He explains how he uses colour as opposed to black-and-white usual in much of documentary photography at the time, and why he let the homeless people in Kharkov – whom he depicted in the book but to whose community he did not belong – stage themselves, for instance posing nude or in other unusual situations. He also photographed himself while observing them, literally exposing his own position as an outsider.
Aware of the pitfalls of the tradition of social documentary photography, Klich followed a similar path. However, he went a step further, focusing on an individual human being with specific social problems who, at the same time, was a person like any other, and conveying the intimacy of everyday life, home, and family. Klich became friends with Beth and they started a collaboration spanning decades, culminating in the exhibition and book project Picture Imperfect (2007). Not unlike Boris Mikhailov, Klich articulates his own thoughts on the difficulties of representation in the book: ‘How can I tell about Beth and her life? Doubts are gnawing at my insides. We’re also exposed to each other. How can Beth and me manage the boundary between life and the story told? Together, we take the first step.’4
As in his later Gaza project, Klich approaches the difficulties related to the genre of documentary by including many forms of photographic representation in Picture Imperfect: Beth’s own family photos, mostly in black-and-white, and Klich’s rough snapshot depictions of her from the 1988 project The Book of Beth are combined with new, more sober, and conceptual recordings in colour of parts of her worn-out body. He also provides Beth with a video camera and asks her to document her life. The photographs of the drug addict and sex worker do not tell us anything about what she is thinking or dreaming of. The video self-portrait, however, does. The video, the family photos, and the many portraits of Beth present us with alternative representations of the impoverished, victimized drug addict.
The temporal and collaborative aspects of the project and Klich’s use of a variety of representational forms thus make up an aesthetic of multi-representational slowness in Picture Imperfect. Because he follows Beth over many years, he presents a social problem through one person whom we get to know as a complex human being, rather than just a stereotype. Without suppressing the social aspect, the viewer gradually comes to take deeper interest in Beth as an individual, and in her immense instinct for survival and her capacity for self-preservation. Klich lets Beth take control by putting the camera in her hands. The results are very personal and poetic recordings that may resemble home videos. The film has all of the authenticity inherent to the genre: the unsteady camera with its sometimes awkward shifting of focus, the direct and confessional way of addressing the camera, Beth rolling her eyes while assuming a friendly tone with her mother over the phone, and Beth filming and teasing her partner. We encounter her daily life as seen through her own eyes. But all the while, we remain aware that it was Klich, the photographer, who provided her with the camera and urged her to use it, although she was hesitant about it at first. The intention was not to conduct an act of self-therapy, because the wisdom and insight into her own life’s development – which she clearly articulates in the film – were there all along, and were not products of Klich’s project. Instead, the camera is there for us as viewers, so that we may learn about Beth’s story. We are never in any doubt that Kent and Beth are in this project together. The seemingly straight- forward intimacy of the diary is, however, ruptured from time to time by Beth’s repeated sighing, revealing that this is by no means an easy thing for her to do.
Klich’s third collaborative book about and with Beth, entitled Where I Am Now, was published in 2012. The small publication of sixteen pages consisted of thirteen black-and-white photographs. New portraits of Beth are presented in combination with detailed depictions of her daily life, from her unmade bed to her old coat on a hanger. In the first photograph of the book, we look directly into Beth’s eyes. This image, combined with the ‘I’ of the title, can be interpreted as Beth directly addressing the audience, taking stock of her life, and assuring us that she is doing well.
The Meaning of Family
An unconventional narrative track in the first two books about Beth is formed from excerpts taken from the medical journals kept by the coastal hospital in Refsnæs. Mostly written by Dr. Svend Heinild, they span Beth’s arrival there at the age of four in 1953, her later consultations, and end with her life as a sex worker in Vesterbro in 1977. On the one hand, Beth’s own family photographs in Picture Imperfect seem to portray an average family celebrating special occasions, having a family dinner at home, and doing the things that families do and have always documented through photography. On the other, the doctor’s records describe a family unable to stay together under extreme social pressure, parents who could not handle their children or each other, and a little girl whose mother showed remarkably little interest in her: a girl placed in a children’s home, who was aggressive and had communication problems and yet, at the same time, was very charming.
Like many of Klich’s other projects, Picture Imperfect is also a book about the meaning of family and how we all want it to be ‘picture perfect’, but how often it is not. In a literal sense, there is something touching about old amateur and family photos. They place the individual within a larger story, a family genealogy. The family photographs let us know that we are not alone in this world; they remind us – mainly – of all of the good and happy moments we have experienced.5 This is exactly why we all are so eager to hang on to them. ‘I want to be normal. I want to be myself’, Beth says at one point in the film, and it is this normality that we often use our family photos to confirm. The paradox of these kinds of pictures is that, on the one hand, they represent something extremely personal, beloved, and important to the individual, while at the same time, they are so standardized in the way they have been taken that others will be able to recognize themselves in their ordinariness. Picture Imperfect includes photos of major family gatherings with nicely set tables and guests in their Sunday best, passport photos, snapshots of everyday situations, and posed arrangements of family members on an outing, taken to record for posterity one specific outing on one specific day. We encounter some of the same situations in the family photos that Klich included in his Gaza series.
There are pictures telling us about Beth’s family life and her life as a child and a young person in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. They show an average family that, judging from these pictures, does not appear traumatized or problematic, with no sign of the tragic events that their future holds. While the old family photos do not directly refer to loss and trauma, they are nevertheless tinged with melancholy and loss in a more existential manner. This applies to all the photos of ‘what once was’ – they remind us of the passing of time, that the past will never return, and that we as humans lead a fleeting life, always on our way to death, which Roland Barthes theorized in his Camera Lucida as a central aspect of photography.6 Each photo thus comes to represent a memento mori: it reminds us that we, too, are going to die. This is amplified in Beth’s case, because we know that most of her family members have in fact died, and that it really is something of a miracle that she is still alive herself.
The melancholy of absence is further increased by Beth being less visible in these pictures than the other family members. Being institutionalized at the age of four, she was quite often absent from the family. The sense of loss and decay is increased by the many close-ups of her worn and damaged body, clinically documented by Klich.
There is something about a photograph that shoots its way out of the picture and hurts us like an arrow, Roland Barthes states in Camera Lucida, which takes as its starting point Barthes’s own family photos. This is what he famously calls the ‘punctum’ – an effect evoked by Klich by including Beth’s family photos. But at the same time and in a figurative sense, his clinical assessment of Beth’s bodily wounds allows him to thematise this effect. A similar ‘punctum’ effect is created by including the family photos in the Gaza series, as well as showing the physical traces left by dead bodies in photographs of dust.

The Exposure of the Child
Although the two projects that Klich has worked on the longest have been about Beth and the Gaza conflict, he has also worked on a range of other long-term projects in different parts of the world, such as Mexico and Romania.
On first glance the book Children of Ceausescu (2001) seems slightly more traditional in its form than the Beth trilogy and the Gaza series. Klich’s black-and- white photographs portray children being mistreated and living in extreme im- poverished surroundings at hospitals and orphanages in Romania, which he visited multiple times between 1994 and 1999. These HIV-positive children were victims of President Ceausescu’s totalitarian regime, widespread famine in the country, and an economic inequality that kept most people in the country in extreme poverty. After the fall of Ceausescu in 1989, it came to light that more than 100,000 malnourished children were being kept in Romanian institutions that were reminiscent of concentration camps. Thousands of them were infected with HIV, most often transmitted via blood transfusions. AIDS was not officially recognized as a disease, which allowed it to spread unchecked.
At the time when Klich was working in Romania in the late 1990s, the term ‘compassion fatigue’ began circulating in the media. This referred to the phe-nomenon of a well-off middle class in privileged countries that was overwhelmed by the flood of information documenting suffering, hunger, catastrophes, and refugees. In a world infected by compassion fatigue, mainly caused by the immense amount of information and images distributed swiftly around the world by the media, Klich’s strategy seemed to be to confront us with the vulnerability of others. In the book Children of Ceausescu, he gives those suffering names, faces, and personal, relatable stories. There was Claudia (1990–1998) with her big smile, who cared so much about her daily dressing ritual, and Vasile (b. 1988), who was abandoned straight after birth and diagnosed with HIV at the age of two after a blood transfusion at the orphanage. Furthermore, the book contains an essay by the writer Herta Müller, who shares some of her experiences living in Romania under Ceausescu, both as a child and later as a teacher. In 2004, this project was also combined with a video installation consisting of documentary recordings of interviews with HIV-positive teenagers and their parents in Romania, made in collaboration with Brita Landoff for the Museum of World Culture in Gothenburg, Sweden.
Before and in tandem with his projects on the HIV-positive Romanian children, Klich regularly travelled to Mexico City for over ten years to depict the living conditions of homeless children living in the streets. This resulted in another ‘slow’ project: the book El Niño: Children of the Streets, Mexico City, published in 1999 in collaboration with the journalist and writer Elena Poniatowska in English, Spanish, Swedish, and Danish. The large-format book consists of black-and-white photos taken in an expressive, graphic style. The aesthetic creates an almost aggressive – but also very intimate and emphathetic – depiction of every- day life for these children, who are all mentioned by their first names in large print in the book.
In a later project, Out of Sight (2008), Klich also used the black-and-white portrait format. This was part of a larger project called Get Lost, curated by the Danish Architecture Centre, based on an idea by Tina Enghoff and Kent Klich, which posed the questions: how do we move around in public space? How do we meet each other? Is the city meant for everyone? Whereas Tina Enghoff ’s project Dogwalk documented the walking routes and debris left by the homeless in Copenhagen on their way from the central station to the ironically-named night shelter ‘The Heaven Express’, Klich’s large-scale, close-up portraits of homeless people shared by name depict them in their most vulnerable state: asleep. The twelve portraits were shown at various outdoor spaces in Copenhagen in summer 2008, and confronted the city’s citizens with the fact that over 3,000 homeless people were living in Copenhagen. In 2015, Klich was invited to participate in an outdoor group exhibition that took place on the square directly facing the entrance to the Danish parliament Christiansborg in Copenhagen. The exhibition was created to commemorate the centennial of the revision of the Danish Constitution, which gave the right to vote to women, the poor, and servants, and thus was a celebration of democracy and human rights. Today, homeless people have the right to vote, but they may find it difficult to prove who they are, and they are not automatically given a polling card if they live on the street. To most of us, they live invisible lives.
Compassion Fatigue in the Media
Today, the news media – whether in print, on TV or in digital news feeds – are full of photos showing war, refugees in camps, corpses on the beaches of Lesbos, military camps in Afghanistan, and ruined cities such as Aleppo. Can we still be affected by such photographs? Do we see them, or are we visually numbed, as Susan Sontag famously argued in her now-classic book On Photography. Perhaps we avert our gaze, perhaps we feel outraged by what we see, but from a cynical point of view, it could be argued that we forget or repress what we see in reports of war.
In 2015, the European Journalism Observatory (EJO) conducted a research project investigating the European media coverage of the refugee situation in Syria before and after the publication of the now-iconic photograph of the drowned Syrian boy Aylan Kurdi on 2 September 2015. According to this research, which was published on 9 November 2015, the coverage in western European media increased up to threefold immediately afterwards, including many more positive humanitarian stories about migrants. But just one week later, it was back to its previous, lower levels, and only a few weeks later, the media coverage was even lower than it had been immediately before the photograph. The survey also states that ‘this demonstrates that the surge in sympathetic coverage after the photographs did not signify a long-term shift in media opinion, but appeared to be, as some analysts had suspected, a short-term, emotional reaction to Alan Kurdi’s story.’7
In an interview in the Danish newspaper Politiken given shortly after the Brussels airport terror attack on 22 March 2016, the exiled Syrian news editor Lina Chawaf expressed her deep sorrow at the thirty-one victims of the bombing, and lamented the fact that the rest of the Western world seemed to have forgotten or repressed the over 300,000 civilians murdered in the Syrian conflict. We seem to only take an interest in the latest war, closest to us in proximity, currently plastered across the front pages.
In her book Frames of War: When Is Life Grievable? Judith Butler argues that we need to find an alternative means of visual representation ‘that resists both sensationalism and episodic outrage’.8 She also underlines the difficulty of doing so, since most photographic war journalism is carried out as so-called ‘embedded reporting’, where news photographers are either directly employed by military units involved in armed conflicts or are only allowed to follow and to cover particular situations selected by the army. This tendency has become increasingly dominant during the wars of the last decades. Through embedded reporting, the state regulates our perspective and actively structures ‘our cognitive apprehension of war’.9 Butler states that, in order to be affected ethically as well as emotionally and also to take responsibility, we have to recognise the vulnerability, the precariousness, and the ‘grievability’ not just of the dead, but of the living.10 This is precisely what Klich has striven to achieve in his approach to photography throughout his career.
Gaza as a Place in Process
With the published Gaza trilogy – Gaza Photo Album (2009), Killing Time (2013), and Black Friday (2015), all presented in this book –Klich insists on visualizing the relatively underrepresented conflict between Israel and Palestine. As in previous projects, Klich uses a broad range of photographic forms of representation, as well as reports from Amnesty International, Forensic Architecture, and the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, with whom he collaborated on the projects. He thereby insists that the variety of repre- sentational forms presented in book format result in more complex and fuller depictions of living conditions during the wars in Gaza.
As previously mentioned, photography’s close ties to the concept of home and family is a consistent thread running through Klich’s work. It is also the focal point of his work about Gaza. He includes high-resolution col-
our photographs of bombed-out homes, living rooms with sofas and pillows shaped by the bodies that recently sat on them, who might have managed to make a frantic escape. These are traces of lives, and the family snapshots are traces of the living: ordinary private photographs of leisure activities, which Klich borrowed from the families of the deceased, of bleached and sometimes slightly blurred snapshots of a family dinner, a pregnant wife, a picnic on the beach, a new dress. In the lm that accompanies the book Killing Time, we meet family members carrying out everyday activities – quite literally killing time – only to realize that they were subsequently all killed by Israeli bombs. Some of these individuals are Amal, 38; Gareb, 32; Muhammad, 17; Ahmed, 6; and Nour, just 3 years old.
Through the powerful effect of the family photos and the intimacy of the mobile phone videos, Klich o ers us a glimpse into the vulnerable lives of these Palestinians. Because we get to see moments that we can recognize from our own family photos and from our own daily lives, the images spark a process of recognition, followed by an ethically-infused reaction. Klich manages to evoke a sense of mourning, and at the same time an ethical investment of responsive- ness when faced with the precarious life of fellow humans, to use Judith Butler’s poignant term.11 As Butler writes in Frames of War: ‘It is not only or exclusively at an a ective register that the photograph operates, but through instituting a certain mode of acknowledgment. It ‘argues’ for the grievability of a life: its pathos is at once a ective and interpretive.’12 In Killing Time, Klich does not show us the war and the terror directly. He depicts a Gaza composed of family memories and personal experiences of trauma, combined with statistics and facts measuring the number of attacks and casualties. Klich thus manages to depict Gaza as a place ‘in process’, constructed by personal experiences of trauma. He thereby both challenges and reformulates traditional news coverage, as well as art practices depicting con ict areas. In his book Place: A Short Introduction, the British geographer Tim Cresswell describes the eld of human geography as ‘the study of places’, where a place is seen as an activity rather than a static, rationally de ned ‘space.’ Klich’s Gaza trilogy can be similarly described as a ‘place-making activity.’13
In Non-Representational Theory: Space, Politics, A ect (2008), Nigel Thrift writes that representations of everyday culture can be seen as a way of articu- lating other forms of political agency and a call for a new ethics based on the recognition of the other. He calls for new, interdisciplinary working methods to shed light on the everyday experience of both resistance and a ect in order to ‘listen to articulations that escape traditional discourse such as science, law etc. [...] what established systems discounted as noise’ and thereby articu- lating ‘a politics of ordinary moments.’14 This is precisely what Klich elicits in his work about Gaza.
Slow Photography
Klich’s representations of everyday life as it is being lived by vulnerable human beings all over the world can be seen as a call for an image ethics based on the recognition of ‘the other’ and the precariousness of all lives. The young men in the mobile phone videos in Killing Time have very little possibility of agency, but these seemingly unspectacular, uneventful lms could re ect our own daily lives and might stir us into action, or might at least bring about an ethical awakening among us living outside Gaza. Klich formulates an ethical, respon- sive, activist, and transitive agency of photography. As such, his work is linked to the analysis of the possibilities of photography put forward by Ariella Azou- lay in her book Civil Imagination.15 Azoulay advocates for a new way of thinking of photography, where we do not see the terms aesthetic and political as oppo- sites, but to rather replace the term political with the term civil. Drawing on case studies related to the Israeli–Palestinian struggle, she regards photog- raphy not as an end product but rather as a process, an event, a meeting, and a practice, which can at the same time reinforce and resist the oppressive reality of the people depicted in the images. Thanks to photography, individuals can display and re ect on themselves, as well as other human beings, and the forms of existence they share, Azoulay argues.
Klich’s approach calls for such thoughts on photography as a practice, which has the potential to create civil imagination across cultural and national borders. In his Gaza series he demonstrates a reformulation of, or an alter- native to, war photography as it is seen in mass media. His work can be framed as a renewed interest in, or a current of, new conceptual strategies of socially and politically engaged documentary practices within the wide spectrum of photography; from media reportage to art, in many ways combining different fields.
In his book Bending the Frame, Fred Ritchin discusses the importance of using ‘di erent kinds of imagery’16 or ‘hybrid forms’17 instead of the diminished visual vocabulary that we most often encounter, especially in the news media. Ritchin uses the term ‘slow journalism’.18 Recently, terms such as ‘late’, ‘slow’, ‘aftermath’, and ‘archival’ photography have also been used by critics and aca- demics in order to articulate new representational paths for photography, sug- gesting alternatives to concepts such as ‘eyewitness reportage’ and ‘decisive moments’. David Campany, for instance, has used such concepts to describe Joel Meyerowitz’s post-9/11 photo book Aftermath or other recent photo pro- jects by artists such as Willie Doherty, Paul Seawright, Sophie Ristelhueber, and Richard Misrach: ‘In forfeiting any immediate relation to the event and taking up a slower relation to time, “late photographs” appear to separate themselves out from the constant visual stream emitted by the convergence of modern elec- tronic image technologies’.19 He describes Meyerowitz’s Ground Zero photos as ‘not so much the trace of an event as the trace of the trace of an event.’ When Klich photographs Beth’s scarred skin, the homemade breast prostheses in Gaza, or the dusty earth and debris that is all that remains of the city of Rafah, he is also indexing the traces more than the event in itself, thus o ering more room for re- ection. Campany also outlines the problems of melancholic mourning and the pitfalls of aesthetization in this tradition. By combining a wide variety of imagery and voices, Klich manages to avoid the melancholy and instead uses his projects to stimulate analytical reflection and civil engagement.
Photography’s ability to represent reality has been problematized for dec- ades. We are indeed witnessing a collapse of old genre borders within photog- raphy, as well as new developments in documentary strategies. There is a crisis in reportage photography in the printed news media, which is struggling under the pressure and speed of online publishing, digital manipulation possibilities, and the amount and circulation of user-generated content on social media. It could be argued that this is contributing to photographers’ interest in new, ex- perimental, and more conceptual forms aimed at the art world instead of news- papers and magazines. Some see a general political turn in the art world com- pared with the 1990s, post 9/11, following the nancial crisis and a widespread feeling of recession, where artists and institutions have shown renewed interest in global and political problems related to migration and refugees, climate dis- asters, terror, and war.
The sheer volume and speed of dissemination of photographic information per se has increased radically in the last ten years. We might therefore talk of a longing for slower forms of still photography – using the exhibition space as well as the photobook as rooms for re ection, slowness, and afterthought. In his focus on slowness, intimacy, the everyday, home, family, and collabora- tions, through what I have here called his ‘aesthetics of multi-representational slowness’, Kent Klich demonstrates the representational force of photography. His work confronts us with precarious lives, the importance of human rights, and the complexity of achieving ideals in a world of war, social inequality, and human suffering.
  1 Parts of this analysis of the Beth pictures were published in Danish as ‘Historien om et menneske... eller når to plus to bliver fem’ in Beth R (Copenhagen: Politisk Revy, 2008) and in English as ‘The Story of a Human Being: Or When Two Plus Two Make Five’ in Katalog, vol. 21, no. 1 (Odense: Museet for Fotokunst, 2009).
2 Martha Rosler, ‘In, Around, and After- thoughts (on Documentary Photography)’, in The Contest of Meaning: Critical Histories of Photography, ed. Richard Bolton (Cam- bridge, MA: MIT Press, 1981), 303–25; John Tagg, The Burden of Representation (Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press, 1988); Abigail Solomon-Godeau, ‘Who Is Speaking Thus? Some Questions about Documentary Photography’, in Photographyat the Dock: Essays on Photog- raphic History, Institutions and Practices (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, [1986] 1991).
3 John Tagg, The Burden of Representation (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1988).
4 Kent Klich, Picture Imperfect (Stockholm: Journal, 2007), 150.
5 As has been theorized by authors such as Patricia Holland, Jo Spence, Annette Kuhn, Gillian Rose, Richard Chalfen, Marianne Hirsch, and myself, to name just a few who have written about the genre of family photography in recent decades.
6 Roland Barthes, Camera Lucida: Re ections on Photography (New York: Hill and Wang, 1981). (originally published in French in 1980).
7 EJO (European Journalism Observatory), ‘Research. How European Newspapers Reported the Migration Crisis’, published Nov. 9 2015, en.ejo.ch/research/research- how-europes-newspapers-reported-the- migration-crisis, accessed 15 March, 2017.
8 Judith Butler, Frames of War: When Is Life Grievable? (New York/London: Verso, 2010), iv.
9 Butler, Frames of War, 66.
10 Butler, Frames of War, 98.
11 Judith Butler, Precarious Life: The Powers
of Mourning and Violence (New York/
London: Verso, 2004).
12 Butler, Frames of War, 98.
13 Tim Cresswell, Place: A short introduction
(London: Blackwell, 2004).
14 Nigel Thrift, Non-Representational Theory:
Space, Politics, A ect (London: Routledge,
2008), 19, 20.
15 Ariella Azoulay, Civil Imagination: A Political
Ontology of Photography (London: Verso,
16 Fred Ritchin, Bending the Frame: Photo-
journalism, Documentary, and the Citizen
(New York: Aperture, 2013), 7.
17 Ritchin, Bending the Frame, 17.
18 Ritchin, Bending the Frame, 39.
19 Campany, David, ‘Safety in Numbness:
Some remarks on the problems of “Late Photography”’. First published in David Green ed., Where is the Photograph? (Photoworks/Photoforum, 2003), republished on http://davidcampany.com/,
no pagination.