Author Frances Guerin on ROROTOKOMay 14, 2012
Through Amateur Eyes is all about how amateur documentary films and photographs taken primarily by Germans can be used in the memory and memorialization of World War II and the Holocaust.
All of the films and photographs I discuss are taken by Germans, ranging from high level Nazis, through unknown soldiers on the battlefield, to bystanders and civilians during World War II. The book puts these films and photographs into a social, cultural and aesthetic context that helps to understand them as amateur films and photographs that were deeply engaged with the world around them—they are in conversation with technological developments, cultural and social events, aesthetic trends. They are so much more than documents of Nazi ideology. Effectively, my perspective on the images casts them as more than “pictures taken by the German perpetrators,” a perspective that has often led to their rejection or, at best, marginalization, because, through this lens, the images have become equated with reflections of Nazi ideology.