Looking Up, Talking Back: Voice and Visibility as a Digital Human Right

Mary Bock
2020 Surveillance & Society  
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 the
more » ... who describes the way forensic specialists are learning to mine visual archives to craft coherent crime-solving narratives; Ristovska, who points out that court officials remain overly wedded to logocentric logic; and Spiesel, who reminds us of the dangers of naive realism, this essay focuses on the right of those who are watched to craft their own sousveillance while also understanding the power, limits, and ethical implications of visual communication.
doi:10.24908/ss.v18i3.14088 fatcat:ov6tcgtlhfhzjks3fybyvqhvga