Two Images of Child Soldiers Shot in the Dark: Outcomes and Process

I cannot reject the proposition that as outcomes matter, so does process.   Since sometimes outcomes will be more important and sometimes we’ll prioritize process, any evaluation of the “matteringness”, the import, of process over outcomes will be  incommensurable with respect to both process and outcomes, though both will be obviously related.

The outcome at issue here is some principled statement about child soldiers, culled from photographic images of child soldiers.  But in the process of culling those images, it quickly became apparent that there exists some notion that child soldiers are a phenomenon that exists only in African countries.  That notion is, of course, only tangentially related to the fact of real child soldiers who are doing the junta’s work in Myanmar, little boys who anchored the Tamil Tiger’s recon team.  

It is not possible to read off truth from images.  Process is shuttered, then, if one’s objective is to determine the truth. Process hobbles along if one’s intent is to walk around images and investigate the propositions that make some image or expression true.  I’ll pass along a broken set of crutches to the hobbled process that enters into that investigation.  Shooting an image in the dark seems to offer an interesting performative aspect to a contingently defined process–the set of crutches– that might make or break that investigation.

~ by Faheem Haider on March 8, 2010.

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