Saturday University with Vicente Rafael

Humanizing the Inhuman: Photographing Duterte's Drug War in the Philippines

A bloody border between the human and the inhuman has opened up through the relentless war on drugs under the regime of President Rodrigo Duterte in the Philippines. Seeing meth addicts as essentially inhuman and beyond redemption, Duterte has encouraged the police to kill them. Since his election in May 2016, thousands of corpses have turned up nightly in Manila's dense neighborhoods. They were victims of summary killings either by the police or by vigilante groups, or both. Please note that the presentation will include some disturbing graphic images.

This talk will ask about Duterte's narco- and necro-politics. But it will also ask about the counter-politics of dedicated photojournalists who have been covering this war at great risk. Rafael will inquire into the process by which photojournalists position themselves as moral agents, serving as witnesses to injustice.

About the Presenter:

Vicente L. Rafael is the Giovanni and Ann Costigan Professor of History and Southeast Asian Studies at the University of Washington, Seattle. He is the author of Contracting Colonialism (1992), White Love and Other Events in Filipino History (2000), and Motherless Tongues: The Insurgency of Language Amid Wars of Translation (2016), both published by Duke University Press.

Saturday University is held in partnership with the University of Washington Jackson School of International Studies, Seattle University, and Elliott Bay Book Company.


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Saturday, February 10, 2018 - 10:00am
Seattle University - Pigott Auditorium
901 12th Avenue
Seattle, WA 98122
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