Images that last?
Iraq videos from YouTube to WikiLeaks
in Image operations
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On April 3, 2010, WikiLeaks and the Sunshine Press released the Collateral Murder video: a 17-minute clip showing a US Apache attack helicopter firing upon individuals in a Baghdad suburb. Amongst those killed by the 30mm cannon fire were two Reuters journalists. Rooted in the author’s earlier work on the use of YouTube by US soldiers to record everything from the criminal to the light-hearted to the banal, the chapter addresses how this clip (viewed over 15 million times on YouTube, and with myriad copies throughout the Internet) has been used and re-used for a variety of activist purposes over the past 4 years, and how it has contributed to a temporal extension of ‘the battlefield.’ Rather than a somewhat static memorialisation or transcription of war, the Collateral Murder video has been more fluid: entering and re-entering public consciousness as it is linked to news events as they unfold. This chapter discusses the flow and distribution of activist imagery as it is connected to the flow of news and current events.

Image operations

Visual media and political conflict

Editors: Jens Eder and Charlotte Klonk


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