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This essay draws from capabilities theory to argue that visual literacy, which combines technical skills, knowledge, and ethics, is an essential human capability in the digital age. It builds on the idea of democratic voice to posit that individuals need to control the way they are seen and to visually account for their lives in order to achieve a balanced system of "veillance." Human beings are surveilled at unprecedented rates in the digital age. In conversation with Gates, who describes thedoi:10.24908/ss.v18i3.14088 fatcat:ov6tcgtlhfhzjks3fybyvqhvga