Présentation de l’éditeur
Addressing the relationship between law and the visual, this book examines the importance of photography in Central, East, and Southeast European show trials.
The dispensation of justice during communist rule in Albania, East Germany, and Poland was reliant on legal propaganda, making the visual a fundamental part of the legitimacy of the law. Analysing photographs of trials, this book examines how this message was conveyed to audiences watching and participating in the spectacle of show trials. The book traces how this use of the visual was exported from the Soviet Union and imposed upon its satellite states in the immediate aftermath of the Second World War. It shows how the legal actors and political authorities embraced new photographic technologies to advance their legal propaganda and legal photography. Drawing on contemporary theoretical work in the area, the book then challenges straightforward accounts of the relationship between law and the visual, critically engaging entrenched legal historical narratives, in relation to three different protagonists, to offer the possibility of reclaiming and rewriting past accounts. As its analysis demonstrates, the power of images can also be subversive; and, as such, the cases it addresses contribute to the discourse on visual epistemology and open onto contemporary questions about law and its inherent performativity.
This original and insightful engagement with the relationship between law and the visual will appeal to legal and cultural theorists, as well as those with more specific interests in Stalinism, and in Central, East, and Southeast European history.
Agata Fijalkowski is Reader in Law at Leeds Beckett University, UK.
1 Stalinist Justice in Central and Eastern Europe
2 Law, Visual Culture, and the Show Trial in Soviet Times
3 Law, Visual Culture, and the Show Trial in Albania
4 Law, Visual Culture, and the Show Trial in East Germany
5 Law, Visual Culture, and the Show Trial in Poland