Changing Cultures of Witnessing: paintings, selfies, hashtags

Hosted by the Department of Media and Communications

Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building


Professor Lilie Chouliaraki

Professor Lilie Chouliaraki

Professor Robin Wagner-Pacifici

Professor Robin Wagner-Pacifici

Professor Barbie Zelizer

Professor Barbie Zelizer


Professor Sarah Banet-Weiser

Professor Sarah Banet-Weiser

What do #MeToo, refugee selfies and oil paintings have in common? They are all part of a mixed and changing culture of witnessing.

This interdisciplinary panel explores the different media platforms and practices of spectatorship that today enable our moral and political engagement with human vulnerability. It asks not only how the digital has shifted the terms of our visual encounters with bodies-in-pain but also shows how our testimonial cultures remain the same. This is not only because contemporary witnessing mixes media, old and new, but crucially also because it is still traversed by historical power relations and social hierarchies.

Lilie Chouliaraki (@chouliaraki_l) is a Professor of Media and Communications in the Department of Media and Communications at LSE.

Robin Wagner-Pacifici is the University in Exile Professor of Sociology at the New School for Social Research.

Barbie Zelizer (@bzelizer) is the Raymond Williams Professor of Communication and Director of the Scholars Program in Culture and Communication at the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg School for Communication.

Sarah Banet-Weiser (@sbanetweiser) is Professor of Communication and Head of the Department of Media and Communications at LSE. 

The Department of Media and Communications (@MediaLSE) is a world-leading centre for education and research in communication and media studies at the heart of LSE’s academic community in central London. We are ranked #1 in the UK and #3 globally in our field (2018 QS World University Rankings).

Twitter Hashtag for this event: #LSEwitnessing


We aim to make all LSE events available as a podcast subject to receiving permission from the speaker/s to do this, and subject to no technical problems with the recording of the event. Podcasts are normally available 1-2 working days after the event. Podcasts and videos of past events can be found online

Social Media

Follow LSE public events on Twitter for notification on the availabilility of an event podcast, the posting of transcripts and videos, the announcement of new events and other important event updates. Event updates and other information about what’s happening at LSE can be found on the LSE's Facebook page and for live photos from events and around campus, follow us on Instagram. For live webcasts and archive video of lectures, follow us on YouTube.


This event has been certified for CPD purposes by the CPD Certification Service. Self-Assessment Record forms will be made available for delegates wishing to record further learning and knowledge enhancement for Continuing Personal and Professional Development (CPD) purposes. For delegates who wish to obtain a CPD Certificate of Attendance, it is the responsibility of delegates to register their details with a LSE steward at the end of the event and as of 1 September 2014 a certificate will be sent within 28 days of the date of the event attended by the CPD Certification Service.  If a delegate fails to register their details at the event, it will not prove possible to issue a certificate. (For queries relating to CPD Certificates of attendance after a request please phone 0208 840 4383 or email


If you are planning to attend this event and would like details on how to get here and what time to arrive, as well as on accessibility and special requirements, please refer to LSE Events FAQ.  LSE aims to ensure that people have equal access to these public events, but please contact the events organiser as far as possible in advance if you have any access requirements so that arrangements, where possible, can be made. If the event is ticketed, please ensure you get in touch in advance of the ticket release date. Access Guides to all our venues can be viewed online.

WIFI Access

LSE has now introduced wireless for guests and visitors in association with 'The Cloud', also in use at many other locations across the UK. If you are on campus visiting for the day or attending a conference or event, you can connect your device to wireless. See more information and create an account at Join the Cloud.
Visitors from other participating institutions are encouraged to use eduroam. If you are having trouble connecting to eduroam, please contact your home institution for assistance.
The Cloud is only intended for guest and visitor access to wifi. Existing LSE staff and students are encouraged to use eduroam instead.
From time to time there are changes to event details so we strongly recommend that if you plan to attend this event you check back on this listing on the day of the event.
How can I attend? Add to calendar
This event is free and open to all with no ticket or pre-registration required. Entry is on a first come, first served basis. For any queries see LSE Events FAQ or contact us at or by calling 0207 955 6043.


LSE Events LSEpublicevents

A decade on from the financial crisis of 2008, its spectre still haunts us. Catch up on our #LSETooze event podcast……

3 hours ago

Reply Retweet Favorite

LSE Events LSEpublicevents

How do you changed the world armed with only arguments and example? @Ram_Guha @MukulikaB @lseideas…

14 hours ago

Reply Retweet Favorite

  Sign up for news about events