Surveillance and Social Memory: Remembering Princess Diana with CCTV

Abstract

Since the 1990s, surveillance camera images have experienced a function creep from their juridical uses into journalism and entertainment. In these contexts, the images have also become memory media. This article, for the first time, analyses CCTV images, meaning closed circuit surveillance camera images, as memory media and discusses the implications of our use of artefacts of control within a frame of mediated constructions of social memory. The article undertakes this work by analyzing remediations of the CCTV images of Diana Spencer and Dodi Al-Fayed in the Ritz Hotel in Paris on 30 August 1997 in television news and a documentary from 2007 and 2011, respectively. It is shown how social memory of Diana’s death is a contested site, in which the images play a specific role. link to article (open access)

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