Mirzoeff’s book, The Right to Look: A Counterhistory of Visuality (2011) is about visual culture and the ways images narrate larger western history. Visuality for the author naturalizes the power structures. He looks at three complexes; the plantation slavery, imperialism, and the military-industrial complex in order to show visuality as a process that reshapes hegemony. In addition, he also offers countervisuality, as "the attempt to reconfigure visuality as a whole" (24). Meaning, that the right to look challenges and dismantles the visual strategies of the "Heroe" with a capital "H" or the visual strategies of "great men" that the hegemonic western structures produce. Overall, Mirzoeff's text was a very difficult read for me but after class discussion I feel that I can grasp the concepts a little better now. Like many of my peers I was struggling with visuality2 and countervisibility. After the class discussion I think visuality2 is the state manipulating or using visuality in order to reproduce the structure and its discourse. For instance, I thought about how neoliberalism has used “difference” as a way to reproduce the structure of inequality even though the discourse surrounding difference is hyper-individualistic. Countervisibility on the other hand, is more about the decolonial project that Mirzoeff offers; “the right to look.” Mirzoeff wants us to question our conceptualization of history, especially since history has been thought of as linear. However, what he shows is that our own westernized conception of history does not allow us to see other histories that fall outside the linear narrative. Which brings me to my next point, if the decolonial geneology must encompass a critical examination of visuality “with the formation of coloniality and slavery as modernity”  as he adds, this must establish a counterhistory, but what if there are multiple counterhistories, does that translate to multiple decolonial geneologies? This made me think about the “right to look” as an engaging relationship, but as Annita mentioned in class, what happens when one chooses not to be seen? how does that complicate "rights"? 

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