Digital Narratives and Witnessing: The Ethics of Engaging with Places at a Distance

Awan, Nishat. 2016. Digital Narratives and Witnessing: The Ethics of Engaging with Places at a Distance. Geohumanities, 2(2), pp. 311-330. ISSN 2373-566X [Article]

[img] Text
DigitalNarratives_Witnessing_FINAL.docx - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial.

Download (41kB)

Abstract or Description

This article explores some of the geographies of crisis and conflict that have become increasingly visible through the use of digital technologies. It attends to the visual politics embedded within such images, whether these are photographs and videos shared through social media or maps produced on platforms such as Google Earth. It also discusses recent practices of spatial analysis that use a forensic approach. Through focusing on the Pakistani city of Gwadar in the restive Balochistan province, my aim is to reveal the complex layered narrative that emerges out of and about such a place through processes of visualization. Gwadar oscillates between an anticipated role as a strategic regional port and the present reality of being positioned at the periphery. By working through these narratives, I explore what type of ethical spatial engagement is possible with such places that are often constructed as out-of-bounds by governments and nonstate actors.

Item Type:


Identification Number (DOI):


digital narratives, distance, forensic approach, spatial analysis, witnessing

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Visual Cultures


26 July 2016Accepted
16 November 2016Published

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

03 Jul 2018 14:05

Last Modified:

27 Nov 2019 11:48

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


View statistics for this item...

Edit Record Edit Record (login required)