Images of Alternative Justice: The Alternative of Restorative Justice
Summary and Keywords
This article analyzes the tension created between the lack of images and the imagination of alternative justice from the particular perspective of “restorative justice.” The most sustained justice discourse to propose significant differences to the criminal justice system, restorative justice nevertheless has not proposed differences necessarily on the “battleground of images,” but, as argued in the article, mainly on the subterrain of “imagination.” It does not, therefore, offer an image of alternative justice, but rather an alternative of justice that belongs to the realm of imagination, pointing simultaneously at the limits of representation and the necessity of developing new forms of imagination that go beyond images to incorporate alternatives at the levels of metaphors, language, architecture, and practices. Using a few exemplary cases, the text argues overall for the primacy of imagination over images of alternative justice.
Beyond the Battleground of Images
Criminology’s initial interest in images was focused upon the effects of media representations of crime on behavior, attitudes, and beliefs on crime and punishment (Young, 2014). Based on that initial focus, it was largely acknowledged that representations, depictions, framings of crime, criminals, and criminal justice influence and shape our perceptions, our apprehensions, our anxieties, and discourses on justice, including the development of policies of criminal justice (Humphries & Caringella-MacDonald, 1990; Greer, 2009). As criminology moved beyond the media effect stage, it—mainly under the heading of “cultural criminology”— increasingly started to develop an interest in representation for its own sake (Young, 2014, p. 160), and especially in the last decade, we have witnessed a remarkable visual turn in criminology (Carrabine, 2012, p. 463; Lippens, 2017).
The emerging field of visual criminology is quite varied in ideas, approaches, and themes (see Carrabine & Brown, 2017, for an overview of the state of the art). A central question in contemporary visual criminology is about how we should think about, through, and with images (Young, 2014, p. 161), or how to make sense of an image (Lippens, 2017, p. 23). Lippens (2017) has suggested a list of possible areas or themes where the study of images could find a place within visual criminology, stating first, that even the type of image (e.g., a photograph, a painting, or a film image) matters deeply to the analysis undertaken, and second, that the image does not have to seem directly pertinent to law and justice to be telling for criminologists.
While the word image refers to a representation of an object that awaits interpretation, from a more critical perspective, it becomes interchangeable with terms like visual and imagination (Hayward, 2010). This shifts the focus to processes and battlegrounds of construction, framing, meaning production, interpretation, distribution of affect, and power (Ferrell, Hayward, Morrison, & Presdee, 2004). It also invites multiple perspectives of not only questioning or deconstructing, but reconstructing or creating intelligible alternatives at very different levels, like representation, interpretation, or imagination, because “images, like politics and theory, are the space for learning how to imagine and persuade otherwise” (Brown, 2014, p. 181). Images “tell stories and mobilise story making,” and in doing that, they both reveal “taken-for-granted and dominant narratives” and open up new possibilities for imagining new narratives (Presser & Sandberg, 2015, p. 296).
This article takes up the challenge of thinking through images of alternative justice from the particular perspective of “restorative justice,” often articulated as an alternative to the criminal justice system. Whether restorative justice constitutes an alternative or not, no doubt it has been one of the most sustained justice discourses to propose significant differences to the criminal justice system, although not necessarily on the “battleground of images.” Michelle Brown (2014), in her analysis of the production of counterimages of the anticarceral and abolitionist movement in the United States, argued that the struggle of representing alternative forms of justice to communicate and build alternative discourses to punishment is a difficult one for social actors (Brown, 2014, p. 180). Nevertheless, her analysis also brings forth a rich and extensive account of counterimages of the prison abolitionist movement that find absolutely no parallel in the restorative justice movement.
Restorative justice scholars in particular have been latecomers to both grasping the power of art, media, and images and producing counterimages or other forms of visual practices. Although this is slowly changing as films, documentaries, series, photography, digital storytelling, and new media projects have encountered restorative justice1, it is too early and difficult to analyze the power or effect of these productions, and unfortunately, they remain limited to smaller audiences. The restorative justice movement does not yet have any of the critical and communicative reflexivity—neither in density nor in quality—that resembles the one identified by Brown in relation to the abolitionist movement. For this reason, at this stage—and arguably at any stage—it is perhaps more productive to engage in a kind of analytical and creative analysis on both this lack of images on the one hand, and on the alternative vision and imagination proposed by the restorative justice on the other hand, as I propose here. This analysis is better undertaken through a tight selection of what I call “exemplary” cases, rather than a recourse to multiple examples or illustrations, either visual or otherwise.
The Alternative Imagination of Restorative Justice
The hypercirculated image of justice reflects the privileged iconography of the transmission of the legislative and sovereign power of the modern state. Iconographical depictions of justice in drawings, paintings, and sculptures represent an often-blindfolded female figure holding a sword in her right hand and scales in her left hand. Known as Lady Justice, her forebears in mythology are the Egyptian goddess Ma’at and the Greek goddesses Astraea, Themis, and Dike, and more directly the Roman goddess of Justitia. Other elements associated with these images exist, but significantly it has been the scale, understood as ensuring or rectifying order, equilibrium, and fairness, and the sword, symbolizing the sovereign power or authority to punish, that have been viewed as the most important (and therefore replicated) ones (Curtis & Resnik, 1987; de Ville, 2011). Of the three main elements, the blindfold is the most recent (16th century) and can be understood as symbolizing impartiality and equal treatment, avoiding the misleading of the senses, but also to avoid encountering the real person in flesh and bone, maintaining therefore the abstract idea of the subject of the law (Douzinas & Warrington, 1995; Jay, 1999).
The ideal allegory of justice as a woman, blindfolded and holding scales and sword, can be considered almost perfect, in the sense that it has not been affected by cultural influences that significantly conditioned constantly changing ideas and models of justice (Mannozzi, 2003). The endurance of Lady Justice as a recognizable image, as well as the consistent use of this imagery, point inevitably to the relationship of this imagery with the exercising of the state’s judicial and therefore sovereign power, including the monopoly of violence (Curtis & Resnik, 1987). There has been, therefore, no sustained attempt to challenge that ideal image with a competing image, given how daunting and probably futile that task would be. Nevertheless, the image itself, either in its totality or in some of its elements, is constantly challenged by artists and activists alike.
For example, Banksy in 2004 provocatively depicted Lady Justice as a prostitute, a symbol of all injustices, in a statue in Clerkenwell Green, London (Figure 1). The statue itself enjoyed a rather short existence, but the radical hijacking and reversal of the meaning of Lady Justice was powerful. The physical removal of the statue shows on the one hand a futile and desperate attempt to control this hijacking as the images continues to proliferate endlessly through the Internet, but also, on the other hand, the importance of the state’s policing of its own image of sovereignty (Douzinas, 2000).
From a restorative justice perspective, the sword, the scales, and the blindfold mainly represent the limitations of formal justice, where justice is seen as harsh, rigid, and unable to see the injuries imposed in her name. Solomon’s famous legal decision to cut the child in half, for example, would be an interesting evocation of justice’s scales, sword, and blindfold. Restorative justice challenges the image of the Lady Justice in almost all its elements. Nevertheless, there is no competing perfect image of restorative justice that can challenge the image of Lady Justice, but only some partial images of restorative justice circulating in the communicative space that mainly represent the restorative practice. These are mainly the image of a peacemaking or community circle, or the image of two people facing each other in the presence of an impartial third party (victim-offender mediation).
To communicate complex ideas through visual imagery (Carrabine, 2016, p. 256), to come up with a “just image” (Carrabine, 2012), or even to create images that elicit a “just response” (Valier & Lippens, 2004, p. 320) seem to be extremely difficult, but so seems to be the counteracting of dominant images, such as the image of Lady Justice, as images constitute the social world rather than simply representing it (Young, 2014). The battleground of the restorative approach, therefore, belongs (until now) within the realms of “vision” or “imagination” rather than that of images. In what follows, I reflect on the conceptual devices used within the restorative imagination, which are not necessarily reflected through concrete images, although they do necessitate and construct mental images.
Metaphors have been particularly powerful in capturing the restorative imagination. One of the founders of restorative justice, Howard Zehr, argued for a change of paradigm in his seminal book Changing Lenses: A New Focus for Crime and Justice (1990). Using the metaphor of the camera, he suggested that the type of lens that you put on your camera will shape the image that you see. This simple metaphor of the lens has largely supported the impetus of the restorative movement in constructing its difference from mainstream criminal justice.
The restorative movement argued that restorative justice was different because, first, it saw things differently. Crime was not meant to be understood and conceived as a break in the law, but as a break in social relationships, norms, or trust (Zehr, 1990; Walgrave, 2008; London, 2011). Restorative justice used the analogy of the lens to construct its own restorative identity. If crime constitutes a break in relationships, norms, or trust, the obvious implication is that it must be restored. The metaphor of the camera proposed by Zehr came from his professional background as a photographer and photojournalist. This inside view of photography gave him the perspective to not only use the lens of photography as a metaphor for restorative justice, but even transpose the restorative ideas into photography itself. “Whether we are seeking justice or doing photography, our metaphors matter” writes Zehr in his blog2.
Concerning itself with the general good, law was viewed by restorative scholars as conflict-reducing, depersonalizing, and context-indifferent (Claes, 2005, p. 23). Rather differently, restorative justice proposed to recognize the wrongdoer and the wronged in their individuality and social context, as opposed to subsuming crime in a general or abstract legal category. According to restorative scholars, justice should not only get rid of the scale and the sword, but also the blindfold because every case is different. Justice, therefore, can neither be blind nor close her eyes and ignore the specificity and the context of the situation that must be judged. Only under these circumstances can justice serve the interests of the involved parties and of the whole society, without imposing itself as a universal system protecting an abstract, and therefore nonexisting, ideal of general good or general happiness (Mannozzi & Lodigiani, 2015).
Even the etymology of the word decidere (French for “to decide,” but literally meaning “to cut off”) is directly related to the sword. Mazzucato (2003) argues that justice therefore cuts off, decides on the facts, on their relevance and irrelevance, on the guilty and the innocent. In this way, it performs a “social chirurgy” (p. 165) imbued with dualisms, whereby the community is also cut in half, partisans on one side and partisans on the other, into victims and offenders, winners and losers. Justice is therefore not constructed on the idea of restoring relations, but on separating and dividing them.
As such, the feature of the sword is a single act, short and neat: cutting/deciding. Mazzucato (2003) argues that the work of restoration asked by restorative justice is of a different register. She compares this to the work of the plough, which takes years and years to create and maintain human life and subsistence. Referring to Charles Péguy’s words in The Mystery of the Charity of Jeanne d’Arc (1910), “it’s like the plough to work twenty years and it’s like the sword to work one minute,” (p. 173) Mazzucato reflects on the profound difference proposed through a restorative idea of justice that aims to restore rather than cut, end, or separate.
Similarly important has been the metaphor of “conflicts as property” of Nils Christie (1977), which has given an important impetus to the restorative movement because it gave legitimacy to the restorative imagination appropriating some of the main tasks of the criminal justice system. Once crime is viewed as a type of conflict, it becomes possible to argue that the parties should get back their own conflict, which has been appropriated by the “thief-state.” A minimal abolitionist himself, Christie’s ideas were grounded in challenging and reducing the state’s interference in people’s lifeworlds to the largest extent possible. The perception of an act of wrongdoing and crime as a real-lifeworld interaction provides the ground for those concerned and affected to enter a dialogic exchange, which implies the participation in the process by those concerned and affected by an event, countering the alienating and exclusionary effects of the justice system, which decides for people through delegation (Pelikan, 2007). According to restorative scholars, the best means of doing justice is through collaborative, deliberative and participatory processes, where each party can express affects, exchange information, and clarify and discuss ideas, norms, or solutions in a supportive (i.e., safe) environment.
Such participatory processes are thought to counter the images of ideal victims and offenders and promote more accurate perceptions of others, disable stereotypes and misattributions, reduce social distance, and avoid that the “other” becomes a category, an ideology, or a fantasy (Zehr, 1990; Hudson, 2003). Christie (1977, p. 33) suggested that it was the loss of “possibilities for personalised encounters” in highly industrialized societies that created and reinforced “ideal” images of victim and offenders. These ideal representations are important, as they mold our apprehensions and feed our anxieties, shaping the way that we think and talk about justice (Humphries & Caringella-MacDonald, 1990).
Thus, one of the grounds on which restorative justice challenges criminal justice is the intimate architecture of delegation and its sovereign legitimacy. In other words, it reminds the criminal justice system that it is a place for handling conflicts and that the state must give back the conflict stolen from the victim to its legitimate owner. Another ground is that of punishment. Restorative scholars have argued that the participation in the aftermath of wrongdoing—understood as a disruption of social relations, trust, or norms—must lead the search for ways of repairing the harm caused instead of causing punishment for the sake of inflicting pain (Pelikan, 2007).
One of the central tenets of restorative justice, then, is the premise that it is counterproductive to address the harm caused by wrongdoing with punishment for punishment’s sake. Punishment on its own sows the “seeds of more social discord and malaise” (Walgrave, 2008, p. 65) and adds more suffering to the suffering that already exists. It has been argued that even when reparation mirrors retributive ends, the intention of reparation is qualitatively different from the intention of punishment: “[W]hereas punishment is an intentional infliction of pain, reparation is an action to undo harm, which may, however, be painful” (Walgrave, 2008, p. 65). Something as complex and multifaceted as “doing justice” cannot be reduced to and measured by years in prison, or by suffering added to suffering. The “algebra of suffering” writes Ana Messuti (2008, p. 51) leads to a strange calculation, where it is believed that if we create a negative (such an punishment) from something negative (such as crime), we will get something positive in return. Restorative justice, therefore, is to be conceived as “the justice without sword,” since it looks for an alternative to the violence perpetuated by the state through punishment (Mannozzi, 2003); in other words, it proposes to break down the revolving door of suffering.
These fundamental challenges that restorative justice launches to criminal justice must obviously be enacted through very different practices, which have in themselves the potential to challenge even further the ingrained architecture of criminal justice processes. In order to illustrate the profoundly different architecture of restorative practices, such as the circle (either peacemaking or community circles) and other forms of encounters (such as victim-offender mediation), two exemplary cases might be useful. The first example refers to a recent restorative process that took place in Italy between victims and perpetrators of political violence, which resulted in the publication of The Book of Encounter: A Confrontation Between Victims and Responsible Actors of Political Violence. The second example refers to an art project on restorative justice conducted at the Leuven Institute of Criminology, which resulted, among other things, in the production of an online new media documentary (NMD).
The Book of Encounter
The Book of Encounter (Figure 2) narrates the seven-year journey of encounters between perpetrators of political violence and their victims during the so-called years of lead in 1970s Italy. Three mediators, Guido Bertagna, Adolfo Ceretti, and Claudia Mazzuccato, led the encounters, which started in 2007 and which lacked institutional support and formal legitimacy, even as they engaged other important public actors in Italy. The encounters were anchored in the pillars of restorative justice and the Truth Reconciliation Commission in South Africa. The book, a reflection and documentation of this process, is itself meant to be a restorative practice, as it is conceived as an “open book,” engaging the larger public in the collective journey of reflection and search for a different kind of justice and coconstruction of collective memory in the face of a difficult political past that left hundreds of dead, thousands wounded, and a broken legacy in the collective memory of the country. While the criminal justice response was massive and “ultimately successful in ‘contrasting terrorism’, it left many of those who experienced those tragic years still questing after a justice that, they felt, had not been done yet” (Ragazzi, 2016, p. 272), attesting once again to the way that human suffering is fundamentally bounded to the politics of testimony and memory.
As implied in the title, starting the search for justice collectively and putting the focus on the process of encountering as a common journey have led to the emergence of a collective that during the process called itself “the group.” The group was composed of witnesses3 (testimoni), which include those who directly experienced the “years of lead” as former terrorist and as victims of terrorism, and their family members; “first4 third-parties” (primi terzi), which refers to those who did not experience personally the “years of lead,” but felt affected nonetheless; guarantors (garanti), which include retired judges, writers, artists, and other personalities who acted as “guarantors” of the process vis-a-vis the public; and the mediators (mediatori). On the one hand, therefore, we have the inclusion of very different voices and identities not reducible to one another, and on the other hand, we also have a group that gets its common identity from the possibility of the dialogue itself.
The circle on the cover of the book exemplifies the seemingly simple but actually complex architecture of the encounters, which mainly5 took place in a circle. The architecture of the circle challenges there being a prominent position for anyone due to its circular sitting arrangements, and also has the merit of enabling a polyphony of very different voices. Commonly in peacemaking circles, this polyphony is reinforced by the introduction of a talking piece that does not give anyone more voice than anyone else, and even has the important potential of signifying silence. The cover of the book also highlights the matter at hand through the depiction of bloodshed in the middle of the circle, which means that this matter is the central purpose of the group’s gathering and identity, but also that the group “circles” the matter together and therefore creates a common understanding and grasp of it. The book itself, by making the encounters public, is intended to be an expanded “community circle,” thus inviting others to become part of it at their own pace and degree. As the mediators write, it launches not an invitation to be persuaded, but to be involved.
This open architecture of justice, memory, and truth is obviously very different from the architecture of the criminal justice system or the court arrangement in particular. The architecture of the court implies a fundamental paradoxical ideology of a judge sitting behind a table both as a neutral third party and as a legislator, with the absolute power to make and enforce decisions. In addition, the idea of justice is prefabricated according to an already written book, law, or other point of reference, so it cannot be considered open. Quite differently, the Italian initiative alludes to another concept of justice—a “justice to come,” not yet decided and not yet closed, a justice of the “encounter.”
The final reflection in relation to the Book of Encounter, but also to the image of the circle, is that given the unpredictable, discursive, and plural architecture and grammar of these forms of practices and encounters, images that attempt to represent them prove to have very limited potential. These practices invite forms of dwelling that are deep, difficult, and long and go way beyond what meets the eye.
One of the deeply ingrained mottos of the restorative circles is that the only way to understand the circle is to become part of it, and the emphasis on the physical encounter in the restorative approaches is based on the belief that both human solidarity and moral responsibility are tightly dependent on “proximity, a certain mystery and a distinctive face” (Carrabine, 2012, p. 466). The forms of dwelling that are required by restorative processes require action and participation or an embedded and embodied presence as a way of knowing and understanding, but mainly as a way of transforming our world.
The hegemony of sight that might be suggested by the primacy of an image also has implications in relation to the split between object and subject, and therefore inevitably becomes a model for our intersubjective relations (Jay, 1993, p. 287). Perhaps again, not an image, but a metaphor that can capture better the restorative imagination and reflect these encounters, as suggested by Mazzucato (2003), could be that of the plough. As a mediator of these encounters herself, she perhaps has conveyed to us the best embodied understanding of what happens there—a justice that takes endless time and continuous hardship, but that is nonetheless vulnerable.
Inside the Distance
Taking up the challenge of imagining an alternative vision of justice, the Leuven Institute of Criminology collaborated with the Californian digital and media artist Sharon Daniel from the University of California in Santa Cruz, STUK Art Centre, Suggnomè (the Flemish umbrella organization for restorative justice, currently Moderator) and the European Forum for Restorative Justice on an art project entitled “Art for Social Change: Exploring Justice Through New Media Documentary.” The project employed artistic practices to investigate the ways in which art can mediate, enhance, and make tangible new and alternative understandings of the notion and practice of justice.
The most tangible outcome of the project was an online NMD on restorative justice called Inside the Distance (insidethedistance.net). Using imagination as an artistic device, this NMD advocates for restorative justice as an alternative to dominant modes and theories of retributive justice and punishment. The work examines in particular the practice of victim-offender mediation in Belgium via interviews with victims, offenders, mediators, prison directors, and researchers. In the documentary, we see the artist’s interest in the fluidity of subject position between victim, offender, and mediator. It invites reflection on what it means to be a victim and an offender, what it means to address the harm in a meaningful way, and especially on questioning subjectivity and the space “in between the distance” created by very different and at the same time common experiences. In the words of Sharon Daniel, “crime is a social phenomenon—conflicts, estrangements, violations, at once, create distance and proximity. In the aftermath two subjects emerge—there is a victim, there is an offender, and there is the space in between.”
The space in between is exemplified and materialized by the table, as can be seen from Figure 3. In the restorative justice sense, this also can be exemplified by the mediator (whose name literally means “in the middle,” or in between, and who is expected to observe the mean). But the space in between can also mean the space between ourselves and others, between the positions that we all assume and from which we constantly move back and forth (Van Bogaert, 2015), or even the limits of representation itself and the limits of our own categories6. We all have to endure the limits of our own horizons (Messuti, 2008, p. 78).
The artist uses the table as a “boundary object” to suggest a place of cooperation, but not consensus. The use of the table in court and the use of the table in the mediation practices are obviously very different. The mediator acts as an impartial or equidistant third party to the largest extent possible and has no reference book to use as a basis for decisions. So the idea is that he or she is there to keep an equilibrium, or the right distance between the parties, and enable a space of safety that allows constructive dialogue and restorative outcomes. The mediator lacks the power to make or enforce decisions; their validity and force depend solely on the parties themselves. He or she provides “a context” that can limit, expand, or open up new horizons (Messuti, 2008, p. 78). Interestingly, the artist also articulates her position and role as a context provider, which means providing the means and tools to induce others to speak for themselves and the context in which they may be heard. Perhaps also in recognition of the limits of representation, Daniel provides no primacy for the image in the documentary, as audio, visual, and textual are all on the same level of importance.
While the audio and the texts in the NMD are based on real interviews, Daniel has used the strategy of reenactment, whereby she asked actors to enact what they hear and what they see based on the original accounts. The strategy of reenactment is significant, as it further attempts to close and represent the distance. The original interviews that were taken with mediators in Belgium were reenacted by actors in California. The actors were asked to assume, enact, and change subject positions.
Reenactment becomes a metaphor for the restorative encounter itself, which is not a reconciliation, but rather a reconsideration of what has happened, a reframing of the real, until an accepted and agreed-upon version of what has happened and why has been reached. This process can take one encounter, it can take seven long years, or it can take a whole lifetime.
As the artist writes, “there is a sense of futurity in reenactment,” as “it embodies a second chance, another version of the past that ends up differently.” But it also testifies to an awareness of the impossibility to undo what has been done—to divide what is indivisible. It is this awareness that leads the true wisdom of the mediator, making him or her an interpreter who understands human finitude and experience and projects a future that ends differently (Messuti, 2008, p. 84).
Images of alternative justice should be able to do what they claim: tell stories that challenge dominant narratives and open up possibilities for imagining new ones (Presser & Sandberg, 2015, p. 296). In this article, a reflection on images of alternative justice from the specific perspective of restorative justice was undertaken. It was argued on the one hand that in the struggle to represent alternative forms of justice to communicate and build alternative discourses to punishment, restorative justice lags behind, and has in that regard a lot to learn from, other social movements, such as the anticarceral movement or penal abolitionism (Brown, 2014). Nevertheless, on the other hand, this lack of representational potential is significant on its own and perhaps has more to suggest that we might think at first.
The alternative proposed by restorative justice relies on the power of imagination instead of images. In other words, it simultaneously points to the limit of representation of an alternative justice through a proliferation of images, while it invites to imagine justice otherwise, challenging the most profound assumptions that lie behind our ideas and practices of justice. As Henri Bergson (1988, p. 74) writes, “we maintain that the brain is an instrument of action, and not of representation.”
Likewise, as I argued through a few exemplary cases, restorative processes go beyond what meets the eye, engaging perhaps a multiplicity of senses that require proximity rather than distance, dwelling rather than detachment, intersubjectivity rather than objectivity, and perhaps even a revalorization of time over space. Is it perhaps the lack of images in restorative justice, or even the negative space in between (as the image of restorative justice suggested by the documentary of Sharon Daniel), that forces us to abandon existing and dominant representations of justice that impoverish the complexity of the reality? Or is restorative justice’s subterranean work “out of sight” that refuses representation a conscious or subconscious resistance to the primacy of sight, which has become so key to contemporary scopic economies of surveillance and spectacle?
I would like to acknowledge the extensive support that I have received in both the early stages and the final one of this article by Judah Schept, and also the suggestions for additional literature made to me by Ronnie Lippens. I also thank Claudia Mazzucato for her continuous encouragement.
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(2.) Three of his publications bring photography and justice close together. In Doing Life: Reflections of Men and Women Serving Life Sentences (1996), Zehr interviewed and took portraits of men and women in Pennsylvania prisons who are serving life sentences without the possibility of parole, showing them as people, demystified. Transcending: Reflections of Crime Victims (2001) presents the portraits and the courageous stories of 39 victims of violent crime, many twice-wounded: once at the hands of the assailant, and the second time by the courts, where there is no legal provision for a victim’s participation. What Will Happen to Me? (2010) presents photographs of 30 children whose parents are incarcerated, along with their thoughts and reflections, in their own words. Available at https://emu.edu/now/restorative-justice/2012/07/07/metaphors-matter-in-photography-and-in-justice/.
(3.) Oliver (2001, p. 16) draws our attention to the dual meaning of witnessing, which has “both the juridical connotations of seeing with one’s own eyes and the religious connotations of testifying to that which cannot be seen, in other words, bearing witness.”
(4.) They are called “first” in the sense of being only the first ring of an ideal assembly of participants who want to engage with the group’s work. The readers of the book constitute an additional ring of the third parties (Ragazzi, 2016).
(5.) In the case of the encounters that took place here, the circle exemplifies but does not cover all the possible ways and means used to enable dialogue along the journey. When needed and deemed necessary, one-to-one meetings were held, and other activities were organized among the group.
(6.) This idea was suggested to me by Judah Schept.