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This paper explores the extents to which online, mobile and social media complicate how sites of genocide are represented by tourists and young adults who may have no actual lineage to Holocaust victims or survivors.
Central to the paper is the address of what happens, in a new media age, to the old controversies and regulated forms of the Holocaust when images are uploaded to sites such as Instagram.
The researcher’s hesitancy not to disclose their sexuality, the erotic and other emotions experienced can be due to fear of stigma, personal safety and people questioning the validity of research, especially if you are at the start of your academic career (Deutsch 2004, Eccles et al 2013, Glasziou 2004, Halse 2011, Kasper and Landolt 2014, Poole et al 2004, Toellner 1994).However, what then happens when important facets of research are left in the subtext only?Drawing from my own experience and examples from other researchers engaged in ethnographic research, the paper will explore the importance of bringing the researchers sexuality and emotions out of the subtext of research (Fitzgerald 1999, Jones 1999, Markowitz 1999, Perrone 2010, Poewe 1999), and how this needs to be woven explicitly into fieldwork outcomes in formal academic texts.The paper focuses on visual data obtained through thousands of screen-captured images on Instagram accompanied by the hashtag #Auschwitz to explore the representations, dialogues and attitudes towards sites of trauma.Instagram has yet to be fully critiqued, discussed and included in academic dialogues exploring legitimate and illegitimate ways of representing, showing and talking about the Holocaust.
This is especially important in developing advocacy, reflexivity and deep meaningful empathic relations with communities or individuals that may be politically, culturally and socially stigmatised.