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Selfies and the Ethics of the Face: A Case Study of Refugee 'Crisis' Reporting in European News

Woman taking a selfie after arriving on shore

Proffesor Lilie Chouliaraki lectures on the circulation of refugee selfies in social media and the news. This event is part of the Mediating Care and Justice Series, sponsored by an SBS Conference Grant, fostering interdisciplinary research on complex issues of media harm. 

Chouliaraki looks into the complexities of the selfie as moral practice, addressing the following questions: What does it mean for refugee selfies to circulate on Western media platforms? In which ways are their faces inserted in ‘our’ visual economies? How is their news value justified? And what role do these justifications play for Western media not only as news platforms but also as moral and political spaces? 

Lilie Chouliaraki is Professor of Media and Communications at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Her books include Discourse in Late Modernity, The Spectatorship of Suffering, The Soft Power of War, and The Ironic Spectator: Solidarity in the Age of Post-humanitarianism, which was awarded the Outstanding Book of the Year in 2015 by the International Communication Association.

The Mediating Care and Justice Seminar Series aims to foster interdisciplinary research collaborations on complex new forms of media harm, such as on digital inequalities, algorithmic injustice, and media manipulation. For details, contact