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2017, Dec 20
“There are tens of thousands of cameras here”

“There are tens of thousands of cameras here,” said the officer, who gave his name as Tushan. “The moment you took your first step in this city, we knew.”

From a chilling article on the emerging police surveillance state in Xinjiang 1. Had a conversation yesterday in which I tried to suggest that photography differs from poetry in that it’s more closely tied to mass culture, but I didn’t even get to this kind of application. I suppose governments might use poetry for propaganda, but there’s no way it’s as easily allied to systems of control and classification. (The classic essay to consult here is Sekula’s “The Body and the Archive.”)

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