The Violence of the Image
I B Tauris | ISBN 9781780767895
Paperback – 288 pages
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Photography has visualized international relations and conflicts from the mid-nineteenth century onwards and continues to be an important medium in framing the worlds of distant and suffering others. The Violence of the Image examines the roles of image producers and the functions of photographic imagery in the documentation and communication of wars, violent conflicts and human rights issues. The book focuses on photojournalism, the premier visual genre in news media framing of international affairs through much of the twentieth century. Many photojournalists promote an ethos of critique, ethically underwritten by the idea of 'witnessing' and affective appeals to action based on displays of human suffering. The book deals with the much-cited concept of 'compassion fatigue' and shows how public commitment to such a 'documentary ethos' remains strong today. The Violence of the Image also engages with the ways in which the newer vernacular and artistic modes of photographic production, including digital photography, camera phones and social media platforms, articulate international friction. Illustrated in colour and in black and white, this is a welcome, innovative contribution to writing and thinking on media and conflict.