Lisa Parks, “Between Orbit and the Ground: Conflict Monitoring, Google Earth and the ‘Crisis in Darfur’ Project” in Bhaskar Sarkar and Janet Walker (eds) Documentary Testimonies: Global Archives of Suffering (AFI Film Readers/Routledge Press, 2010), pp. 245-267.
Lisa Parks explores the role of satellite images as a technology of witnessing human rights violations and humanitarian crises. In particular, she argues that the uses are not only refiguring the notions around suffering and testimony, but that ‘the satellite image, with its remote, abstract qualities, can become productive in its visualisation of more structural and geopolitical dimensions of world conflicts. The essay not only provides an in-depth study of a massive humanitarian witnessing project, aimed at cultivating a global civil society, but it also points to the increasing (and increasingly troubled) relationship between humanitarian projects, global capitalism, and neoliberalism.