Summer course “9/11, Twenty Years Later: Images that Changed History”


On July 15th, 2021, the summer course “9/11, Twenty Years Later: Images that Changed History” was held in Madrid as part of the summer program of the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos (URJC). The summer course was organised with the collaboration of the Fundación and took place shortly before the commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, at the World Trade Center in New York with the aim of analysing the current vision of the historically significant event as seen through the audio-visual culture and its different artistic manifestations.

The course was formulated on a semi presential basis with over 50 students in attendance, began with a presentation by Jorge Latorre, URJC Professor and Academic Director of the course. Through personal photographs, Latorre shared his personal experience as a witness to this terrible event and to the stories of solidarity around the city.

During the first session, the artist, essayist and promoter of Spanish art specialised in photography, Joan Fontcuberta, introduced to the new photography techniques that emerged after 9/11, addressing the so-called post-photography and the principles of theatrical and cinematographic representation that govern it.

Antonio Sanchez Escalonilla, Professor and Academic Codirector of the Master in the Scripting of Cinematography and TV Series given by the URJC, analysed the treatment of terrorism and panic culture in popular cinema before and after the terrorist attack.

The afternoon session started with Araceli Rodriguez, Coordinator of the Academic Section of Arts and Humanities of the Postgraduate International School of the URJC who presented the contribution of the exhibition "Here is New York" – conceived from the images taken on 9/11– to the abandonment of analogue photography.

Julio Montero, Vice Chancellor of the International University of La Rioja, continued the session with a study of the images that were seen on the different news and television channels in Spain.

To conclude the course, the visual artist Frances Torres, presented “Memory Remains: 9/11 Artifacts at Hangar 17”, an exhibition about the national and historic memory based on the photographs of the contents of Hangar 17 at JFK International Airport salvaged from the site of the World Trade Center.