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. Law, Visual Culture, and the Show Trial 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. Drawing on contemporary theoretical work in the area, the book 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. These case studies contribute to the discourse on visual epistemology and open onto contemporary questions about law and its inherent performativity. As its analysis demonstrates, the power of images can also be subversive.
Dr Agata Fijalkowski is Reader-in-Law at Leeds Beckett University. Her research looks at national war crimes trials post-WW2 and the respective legal teams. Agata’s monograph Law, Visual Culture, and the Show Trial with Routledge is out now (click here).
The event has a hybrid format, either in person at the Faculty Room or on Zoom:
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