The proliferation of images in and of law lends itself to surprisingly complex problems of epistemology and power. Understanding through images is innate; most of us easily understand images without thinking. But arriving at mutually agreeable understandings of images is also difficult. Translating images into shared words leads to multiple problems inherent in translation and that pose problems for justice. Because images are inherently “what we know” (because they are “what we see”), insofar as most of us process our experiences first through sight, images do not naturally lend themselves to linguistic translation. We don’t believe they require translation because we are so sure of what we see, and yet comparing and sharing understandings of images requires communication through words. Despite our saturated imagistic culture, we have not established methods to pursue that translation process with confidence.
Other articles from the symposium are available here.