Campt 2017

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Campt, Tina. Listening to Images. (Durham: Duke UP, 2017).

"how do we build a radical visual archive of the African Diaspora that grapples with the recalcitrant and the disaffected, the unruly and the dis- possessed? Through what modalities of perception, encounter, and en- gagement do we constitute it? These two questions induce a volley of corol- lary queries. What is the place in this archive for images assumed only to register forms of institutional accounting or state management? How do we contend with images intended not to figure black subjects, but to de- lineate instead differential or degraded forms of personhood or subjec- tion—images produced with the purpose of tracking, cataloging, and con- straining the movement of blacks in and out of diaspora? What are their technologies of capture and what are the stakes of the forms of accounting that engendered these archives?" (3)

"My aim in the chapters that follow is to animate the recalcitrant affects of quiet as an undervalued lower range of quo- tidian audibility." (4)


"For blacks in diaspora, both quiet and the quotidian are mobilized as everyday practices of refusal." (4)

identification photos: imposed on the sitter by the state but become important in personal archives

"Rather than reducing identification photos to the instrumental func- tions for which they were created, Listening to Images engages these images as conduits of an unlikely interplay between the vernacular and the state." (5)

METHOD: "It designates a method of recalibrating vernacular photographs as quiet, quotidian practices that give us access to the affective registers through which these images enunciate alternate accounts of their subjects. It is a method that opens up the radical interpretive possibilities of images and state archives we are most often inclined to overlook, by engaging the paradoxical capacity of identity photos to rupture the sovereign gaze of the regimes that created them by refusing the very terms of photographic subjection they were engineered to produce." (5)

role of the counterintuitive

don't just see but watch and listen to images -- taking inspiration from Gilroy and importance of music for Black Atlantic diaspora

Georges Perec and "infraordinary" practices

"The disordering and disruptive archival practice enacted in these pages thus uses sound and frequency to question the grammar of the camera (as both an event of photography and a photographed event) as well as the haptic temporalities of photographic capture as pernicious instruments of knowledge production." (8-9)

"Refocusing our at- tention on their sonic and haptic frequencies and on the grammar of black fugitivity and refusal that they enact reveals the expressiveness of quiet, the generative dimensions of stasis, and the quotidian reclamations of in- teriority, dignity, and refusal marshaled by black subjects in their persis- tent striving for futurity." (11)