June 30, 2013 § Leave a comment
SVT enlisted Henrichsen, who had covered 14 violent coups for their current events program, Rapport, to their bureau in Santiago, Chile. Working with chief correspondent Jan Sandquist, his first assignment there was during a massive, October 1972 truckers’ strike in protest over the program of expropriations being advanced by Chile’s Socialist President, Salvador Allende.On the morning of June 29, 1973, the day of the attempted military coup known as the Tanquetazo, as Henrichsen had breakfast at the café in the Hotel Crillón (across La Moneda Presidential Palace in downtown Santiago), the sound of gunfire erupted outside, leading him and Sandquist to rush to cover the event. As he began filming, a detachment in a mutineering army regiment attempting to storm La Moneda Palace attacked protesters and bystanders nearby and, noticing him and his camera, the ranking officer, Corporal Héctor Bustamante Gómez shot his pistol at Henrichsen, prompting his men to fire, as well. Appealing to them that they cease firing at two journalists, Henrichsen was struck by the third shot (from an as yet unidentified conscript), causing him to collapse in Sandquist’s arms while still filming. He was 33.
December 8, 2012 § Leave a comment
The Portraitist, a film by Irek Dobrowolski
The Portraitist is a 2005 Polish television documentary film about the life and work of Wilhelm Brasse, the famous “photographer of Auschwitz”, made for TVP1, Poland, which first aired in its “Proud to Present” series on January 1, 2006. It also premiered at the Polish Film Festival, at the West London Synagogue, in London, on March 19, 2007.
July 25, 2012 § Leave a comment
In 1985, the body of Josef Mengele, one of the last Nazi war criminals still at large, was unearthed in Brazil. The ensuing process of identifying the bones in question opened up what can now be seen as a third narrative in war crime investigations—not that of the document or the witness but rather the birth of a forensic approach to understanding war crimes and crimes against humanity.
In the period coinciding with the discovery of Mengele’s skeleton, scientists began to appear in human rights cases as expert witnesses, called to interpret and speak on behalf of things—often bones and human remains. But the aesthetic, political, and ethical complications that emerge with the introduction of the thing in war crimes trials indicate that this innovation is not simply one in which the solid object provides a stable and fixed alternative to human uncertainties, ambiguities, and anxieties.
The complexities associated with testimony—that of the subject—are echoed in the presentation of the object. Human remains are the kind of things from which the trace of the subject cannot be fully removed. Their appearance and presentation in the courts of law and public opinion has in fact blurred something of the distinction between objects and subjects, evidence and testimony.