Sandra Ristovska sees her research and filmmaking as interrelated endeavors through which she examines visual modes of knowledge production. Specifically, her work tackles how, when and why images influence institutional and legal decision-making in the context of human rights. It is centered on three interrelated areas of concern: (1) the consequences of the visual turn on the recognition and restitution of human rights claims; (2) the changing dynamics of human rights witnessing resulting from the ubiquity of eyewitness images online; and (3), the need for evidentiary visual standards across law and policy domains. Ristovska is the author of Seeing Human Rights: Video Activism as a Proxy Profession (MIT Press, in press) and a co-editor of Visual Imagery and Human Rights Practice (Palgrave, 2018). She has also published over dozen journal articles and book chapters. Ristovska is the recipient of the NCA’s Outstanding Dissertation of 2016 in Visual Communication Award, IAMCR’s 2013 Herbert Schiller Prize and ICA’s 2013 Top Paper Award by the Philosophy, Theory and Critique (PTC) Division.
Prior to joining CMCI in 2017, Ristovska was the George Gerbner Postdoctoral Fellow at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. She has held visiting fellow appointments with the Information Society Project at the Yale Law School—where she served as an advisor to the Visual Law Project—the Institute for the Study of Human Rights at Columbia University and the Center for Media, Data and Society at the Central European University. She is a past co-director of CAMRA, an interdisciplinary media collective that examines media practices as a form of scholarship, and a past co-chair of IAMCR’s Emerging Scholars Network (ESN) Section. She is an elected member of IAMCR’s International Council where she serves on several committees. She also the secretary of ICA’s PTC Division.
Born and raised in Macedonia, Ristovska received a PhD and an MA in Communication from the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania, a BA in Theatre and Film from the University of Kansas and a filmmaking certificate from the London Film Academy.