brief interludes between working trips. 12 The first was based on the Afghan
war of 1878–80, which he had covered for The Graphic. 13 This work
depicted The Road Home: the Return of the Imperial Brigade from
Afghanistan . The title suggests that it showed men on the march
rather than engaged in a battle. 14 The second seems, however, to have been a battle
scene, Fighting Arabi with his own Weapons: Tel
to consider the ways in which videos of warfare on
platforms such as YouTube offer strikingly different views of conflict from multiple perspectives, and show varying degrees of popularity over time. In order to do
this, I will address three previous studies on the use of YouTube by members of
the US military (and the military itself) for the purposes of documenting activities in Iraq and Afghanistan (Christensen 2008, 2009, 2011), and then move on
to consider these cases in relation to the rather different case of the uploading
of the Collateral Murder video
a critique of the power relations, discursive frameworks and technological conditions that obfuscate sight for some and entail hyper-visibility for
From the position of power (of governments, police and the military), drones
hold the promise of navigating and controlling the intensified (and as such hardly
visualisable) visibility of the ‘complex and unpredictable’, the same chaos that is
produced and maintained by the very exertion of imperial, neo-colonial power
in countries such as Iraq, Afghanistan or Pakistan. The unmanned, potentially
morally exonerates [us]’, for it affirms that the enemy is ‘worse than us’. 10 In the case of Osama bin Laden, this helped to legitimise a major military intervention in Afghanistan. It took no more than two months to defeat the Taliban regime, 11 but the Al-Qaida leader would remain the most wanted man for another ten years, until on 2 May 2011 he was tracked down and shot dead by the US special operations force Navy SEALs in his house in Abbottabad in Pakistan.
With his death, the disproportionate power of his image disappeared. Instead, abasement and humiliation
his private company Solidere. And in other parts of the Middle East, or within the broader Islamic world, what is often called contemporary art is most likely to be linked to the post-9/11 events of 2001; or, as was the case in Afghanistan, the first center to be specifically labeled “for contemporary art” was launched soon after the US troops’ invasion of this country.
Before continuing with periodization, a short detour will be taken to draw attention, in the above examples
Remixed lives, reincarnated images and live- streamed co- presence
broader discussion of Karen independence and resistance, for instance.
Occasionally, I idly Google ‘Shoot on Sight’ to see where it sits on the
YouTube search algorithm –next to a Bollywood film of the same name –and
to read how people are interpreting the video. For a number of years, a recurring ‘remix’ of the theme evident in the comments was a narrative framing
about Iraq and oil and US intervention. For example, at one point, the top-
rated user ‘holyrust’ noted: ‘Wondering why we “save Iraq” from its evil dictator and Afghanistan from the Taliban but ignore
speaker John Boehner said, ‘Tax increases are not a viable option for the joint committee.’ 16 In a later speech Obama stated: ‘This is not class warfare – it’s math. The money is going to have to come from someplace.’ 17
The Buffett tax was presented by the Obama administration as one way to offset the $3 trillion that the government claimed it would cut from the deficit over the next ten years. While $1 trillion could have been saved by ending the war in Afghanistan, both parties preferred to watch Americans fight amongst themselves to
contexts in which they are shown, looked at and instrumentalised. Not the images as such but their context endows them with the power to act as evidence – or not, as the following case will show.
On 27 November 2009, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung published a photograph ( Figure 1 ) on its front page that was supposed to provide information on a controversial airstrike that had been carried out twenty-seven days previously in north Afghanistan, killing over one hundred people. 46 On 3 September, Taliban fighters had hijacked two North Atlantic Treaty
artists on the ground – and when artists no longer exist on the ground, such as in Afghanistan – we try to work with the diaspora, to hear the most original voices on the heritage of the country. On the ground, we are trying to research, excavate what is left of the art of a country. This is similar to the work of the cultural heritage preservation at the World Bank, and we share the same goals, I used to be on the board. So, basically we don’t want a beautified image of the Taj Mahal, but we do want work from artists steeped into that tradition.
in the Sind campaign. Napier’s successes in Sind were
perceived, at least initially, as restoring British prestige in the
Indian subcontinent, after appalling defeats in Afghanistan and India. 42 . Armitage’s
choice of subject was shrewd, stressing as it did that Britain’s
military genius was continuous, not a thing of the past. Meeanee
won him a further premium of £500. The committee expressed a desire