DocSalon 3 “Is Empathy Enough?”

On third annual DocSalon took place at the Edinburgh International Film Festival on Saturday 29th June at 1.30pm at the Traverse Theatre.

The DocSalon is a public discussion with filmmakers, programmers, and the audience on subjects pressing to documentary today. This time, our topic was EMPATHY.

The capacity to place ourselves in another person’s shoes is a valued trait, so it’s hardly surprising that reports of waning empathy are so disconcerting. Fiction has been praised for its capacity to develop empathy but what happens when real life is the subject? With the same capacity for bringing us stories, characters, and perspectives beyond our own, how can documentary be a tool for empathy? And when the subject is the real world, what are the problems with making empathy the goal? How useful is empathy as a political emotion?

In conversation were Leshu Torchin (University of St Andrews), Tamara Van Strijthem (Take One Action Film Festival), Flore Cosquer (producer of Freedom Fields), Bircan Birol (director of My Name is Anik) and Finn Daniels-Yeoman (Africa In Motion Film Festival, Glasgow University).

The Vegan Society uses VR to introduce the public to the horrors of battery farming.

Information about the event can be found here. (Full URL:

Stay tuned for future events, and if you have any thoughts on what the next topic should be, leave it here in the comments!





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