Digital Archiving Resources

The Audiovisual Unconscious: Media and Trauma in the Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies

Title

The Audiovisual Unconscious: Media and Trauma in the Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies

Subject

Collective memory

Description

Video testimonies of Holocaust survivor stories are, in themselves, an archival medium. The conventions of shooting and distributing video convey an immediacy and an absence of cinematic artifice that reveal rather than obscure the unconscious and unintended effects. Like the archive, the video testimony gathers and presents the “noise” as well as the subject matter of its content. Details from gestures, eyes, expression, etc. are recorded and these visual registers of the psyche amplify the sound recording of the video. Pinchevski posits that the video testimony extends the voice and narrative of the testimony, providing viewers a greater sense of the survivor’s experience—one that may be inexpressible in mere written form or may belie the narration. Citing the investigative work of psychoanalysts and scholars of the Holocaust, Pinchevski believes both the archive and video are mediums of transmission providing society deep memory; that is, memories which cannot be immediately recalled without some type of mediation. Although it is arguable that either the archive and documentary video is more authentic than film or text, they each record the event as it occurred in real time and thereby enable the user/viewer to become witnesses to the historic event. More than words or symbols, the video archive, like the video testimony, disseminates and transmits the inexpressible.

Creator

Pinchevski, Amit

Publisher

Critical Inquiry

Date

2012

Contributor

Polk, Victoria

Rights

© 2012 by The University of Chicago

Type

Journal Article

Bibliographic Citation

Pinchevski, Amit. "The Audiovisual Unconscious: Media and Trauma in the Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies." Critical Inquiry 39, no. 1 (Autumn 2012): 142-166. MLA International Bibliography, EBSCOhost (accessed April 20, 2013).

Files

Item114.jpg

Citation

Pinchevski, Amit, “The Audiovisual Unconscious: Media and Trauma in the Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies,” Digital Archiving Resources, accessed September 25, 2017, http://dar.cah.ucf.edu/items/show/114.