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Visual media and political conflict
Editors: Jens Eder and Charlotte Klonk

Still and moving images are crucial factors in contemporary political conflicts. They not only have representational, expressive or illustrative functions, but also augment and create significant events. Beyond altering states of mind, they affect bodies, and often life or death is at stake. Various forms of image operations are currently performed in the contexts of war, insurgency and activism. Photographs, videos, interactive simulations and other kinds of images steer drones to their targets, train soldiers, terrorise the public, celebrate protest icons, uncover injustices, or call for help. They are often parts of complex agential networks and move across different media and cultural environments. This book is a pioneering interdisciplinary study of the role and function of images in political life. Balancing theoretical reflections with in-depth case studies, it brings together renowned scholars and activists from different fields to offer a multifaceted critical perspective on a crucial aspect of contemporary visual culture.

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Creation, negotiation and subversion

This book is about images of Africa; who creates them, how they are manipulated, and what the effects are for African actors and their relationships in the wider world. While the role of image in international politics is taken seriously by practitioners and academics, no one has yet produced a systematic account of the particularly important role it plays in the relationships between Africa and the wider world. This book seeks to do this by focusing on the politics of image and Africa, broadly defined to encompass the way political elites, media organisations and individual writers and artists together construct and project images of the continent. The book explores the dynamic processes of image creation in an imaginative way. First, it brings together different disciplinary approaches. Second, it draws on experiences of a wide range of actors and forms of image, including central governments, traditional authorities, journalists, individual artists and authors. Finally, the book brings together ten researchers currently engaged in fieldwork-based research across Africa who together present an empirically rich, fresh take on an important topic.

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Looking across the borderlands of art, media and visual culture
Author: Anna Dahlgren

Travelling images critically examines the migrations and transformations of images as they travel between different image communities. It consists of four case studies covering the period 1870–2010 and includes photocollages, window displays, fashion imagery and contemporary art projects. Through these four close-ups it seeks to reveal the mechanisms, nature and character of these migration processes, and the agents behind them, as well as the sites where they have taken place. The overall aim of this book is thus to understand the mechanisms of interfacing events in the borderlands of the art world. Two key arguments are developed in the book, reflected by its title Travelling images. First, the notion of travel and focus on movements and transformations signal an emphasis on the similarities between cultural artefacts and living beings. The book considers ‘the social biography’ and ‘ecology’ of images, but also, on a more profound level, the biography and ecology of the notion of art. In doing so, it merges perspectives from art history and image studies with media studies. Consequently, it combines a focus on the individual case, typical for art history and material culture studies with a focus on processes and systems, on continuities and ruptures, and alternate histories inspired by media archaeology and cultural historical media studies. Second, the central concept of image is in this book used to designate both visual conventions, patterns or contents and tangible visual images. Thus it simultaneously consider of content and materiality.

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Harun Farocki and the operational image
Volker Pantenburg

49 Working images: Harun Farocki and the operational image Volker Pantenburg ‘Images without a social goal, not for edification, not for reflection.’ This is the negative definition of ‘operational images’ that Harun Farocki provides in the first part of his three-​part installation Eye/​Machine.1 The filmmaker and video artist was one of the first to examine in depth the various uses of images as instruments. His work consists in a continuous examination of the operational potential of images in different fields of practice. Farocki’s Eye/​Machine series (2000

in Image operations
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Refracting control from virtual reality to the digital battlefield
Timothy Lenoir and Luke Caldwell

89 Image operations: refracting control from virtual reality to the digital battlefield Timothy Lenoir and Luke Caldwell In the post-​Cold War era, the US military invested heavily in a makeover to replace the massive US ground forces of the post-​World War II era with smaller, more flexible organisational units typified by special operations forces and weapons systems that exploited the new information technologies: what military historian Max Boot called ‘a new American way of war’ grounded in ‘speed, maneuver, flexibility … precision firepower, special

in Image operations
Ben O’Loughlin

25 Images of the world, images of conflict 1 Ben O’Loughlin1 In the short story ‘The Fearful Sphere of Pascal’, Borges wrote, ‘It may be that universal history is the history of a few metaphors’ (Borges 2007, 189). The history of world politics certainly seems marked by a few recurring concepts and metaphors:  the universal and the particular, the inside and the outside, the balance of power and the ideal of symmetry and actuality of chaos. If these metaphors are the basis for how we understand world politics today, then they also shape how we remember past

in Image operations
Jens Eder

63 Affective image operations Jens Eder1 Images enter the interactional networks of political conflict in various ways. Often, they motivate political action by evoking emotions and affects. This is evident, for instance, in visual propaganda, images of terror, donation campaigns or activist videos like Kony2012. Aiming to mobilise a movement against a brutal warlord, the documentary made calculated use of cinematic techniques to maximise viewers’ emotional responses. It went viral on social media platforms and was soon watched more than 100 million times. The

in Image operations
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Charlotte Klonk

128 9 Images of terror Charlotte Klonk Amidst the flood of images that appeared in the hours and days after the terror attack on New  York’s World Trade Center on 11 September 2001, one picture caused an outcry among the American public: Richard Drew’s The Falling Man. It shows a man in free fall in front of the towers. He was one of many hundreds who threw themselves out of the windows of the burning buildings, perhaps still hoping to escape their desperate fate. An estimated 8 per cent of those who perished in New York City on 11 September 2001 died by

in Image operations
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A relational approach
Julia Gallagher and V. Y. Mudimbe

This book is about images of Africa – how they are produced, by whom and for what purposes; and about how they are understood. These questions are fraught because of the continent’s relationship with the wider world, particularly the European world, which for many years assumed the right to create images of Africa, in fiction, travel writing, anthropological research, maps, missionary accounts, colonial records and reports produced by aid agencies. Since the middle of the twentieth century, when the majority of African states began to move

in Images of Africa
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The military in British art, 1815-1914

In an age when engraving and photography were making artistic images available to a much wider public, artists were able to influence public attitudes more powerfully than ever before. This book examines works of art on military themes in relation to ruling-class ideologies about the army, war and the empire. The first part of the book is devoted to a chronological survey of battle painting, integrated with a study of contemporary military and political history. The chapters link the debate over the status and importance of battle painting to contemporary debates over the role of the army and its function at home and abroad. The second part discusses the intersection of ideologies about the army and military art, but is concerned with an examination of genre representations of soldiers. Another important theme which runs through the book is the relation of English to French military art. During the first eighty years of the period under review France was the cynosure of military artists, the school against which British critics measured their own, and the place from which innovations were imported and modified. In every generation after Waterloo battle painters visited France and often trained there. The book shows that military art, or the 'absence' of it, was one of the ways in which nationalist commentators articulated Britain's moral superiority. The final theme which underlies much of the book is the shifts which took place in the perception of heroes and hero-worship.