A battle of images is above all a psychological struggle. Unintended consequences are the rule rather than the exception. The book examines the role of images in media reports on terror from the nineteenth century to the present day. Looking at concrete case studies, Charlotte Klonk analyses image strategies and their patterns, traces their historical development and addresses the dilemma of effective counter strikes. She shows that the propaganda videos from the IS are nothing new. On the contrary, perpetrators of terror acts have always made use of images to spread their cause through the media – as did their enemy, the state. In the final chapter, Klonk turns to questions of ethics and considers the grounds for a responsible use of images. This is an indispensable book for understanding the background and dynamic of terror today.
Assassinations and bomb attacks in the late nineteenth and early twenty-first centuries
Following the attacks of 11 September 2001 and the destruction of the World Trade Center in New York, the President of the United States, George W. Bush, spoke of an event that ‘changed our world’. 1 At the time many people shared this opinion. Never before had the media reported on terror in such breadth and intensity and never before had there been such a thorough scholarly debate. 2 But over time, people’s perspectives changed.
There is no doubt that the scale of 9/11 was unprecedented. The number of casualties – almost 3,000 – was nearly ten times
Images of terror come as a shock, each time anew. The closer they approach our own lives, the more we are involved and the more we are reminded of other, comparable attacks. Media and communication research on the psychological impact of news images has shown that visuals produce a stronger sense of involvement than texts and carry a more powerful emotional charge. 1 Although we all know that photographs and film or video footage only show part of what could be seen and might sometimes even be manipulated, we do not realise this when we look at them. 2 As
In the autumn of 2011, posters appeared in the streets of Berlin advertising an exhibition entitled The Uncanny Familiar: Images of Terror at the C/O Berlin gallery. 1 They showed a black-clad man standing on a balcony, wearing a balaclava, looking menacing yet strangely familiar ( Figure 55 ). There was something deeply unsettling about him. Some images of terror are, to borrow the ambivalent title of the exhibition, ‘uncannily familiar’ and, as the previous chapters have shown, the repertoire of such images is surprisingly limited. Only a few are still
Hostage-takings and aircraft hijackings since the 1960s
at all in these studies, they are mostly treated as merely illustrative of the precarious situation and outcome that in itself is largely determined by other factors. 11 The reason is obvious: photos of hostages are much less spectacular than images of carnage and devastation in cities around the world. All they usually show is the portrait of an individual, often unknown to the general public, who has been abducted to some nameless place and photographed against an obscure background. Sometimes the logo of the terror organisation claiming responsibility also
Minister’s office and to media outlets. Facebook and other social media platforms had difficulty preventing its circulation.
What is the correct way to deal with images such as these? This question was relevant long before the advent of the internet. Traditional media have always conveyed more than pure information. When a group that is militarily inferior challenges a state’s superior power, the actual number of deaths caused by an attack is less significant than the terror it produces and the perpetrators’ potential renown among like-minded individuals. The more
Printing Terror places horror comics of the mid-twentieth century in dialogue with the anxieties of their age. It rejects the narrative of horror comics as inherently and necessarily subversive and explores, instead, the ways in which these texts manifest white male fears over America’s changing sociological landscape. It examines two eras: the pre-CCA period of the 1940s and 1950s, and the post-CCA era to 1975. The authors examine each of these periods through the lenses of war, gender, and race, demonstrating that horror comics are centred upon white male victimhood and the monstrosity of the gendered and/or racialised other. It is of interest to scholars of horror, comics studies, and American history. It is suitably accessible to be used in undergraduate classes.
Post-9/11 Horror and the Gothic Clash of Civilisations
Kevin J. Wetmore
Twentieth century cinema involving monster conflict featured solitary monsters in combat (Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man, for example). The writing of Anne Rice and the RPG Vampire: The Masquerade by White Wolf Games introduced the idea of Gothic communities and civilisations in conflict. It was not until after the terror attacks of 11 September that the idea of a clash of civilisations between supernatural societies fully emerged into the mainstream of popular culture. This essay explores the construction of a clash of civilisations between supernatural communities as a form of using the Gothic as a metaphor for contemporary terrorism in film and television series such as Underworld, Twilight, True Blood and The Vampire Diaries. Inevitably, it is the lycanthropes that are the disempowered and disenfranchised society and are alternately exploited by and rebel against the dominant vampire civilisation grown decadent and on the verge of collapse. Post-9/11 Gothic posits a world in which vampire society is the new normal, and werewolves represent a hidden danger within. Lycanthropes must be controlled, profiled and/or fought and defeated. Through close readings of the cinematic and televisual texts, I explore the vampire/werewolf clash as metaphor and metonym for the war on terror.
Images of terror
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
Countering terror, denying dissent
Given the dramatic period of adaptation that followed 9/11, it’s important to
reflect on the changes in propaganda and deconstruct the role played by the
Anglo-American relationship, with a view to bringing wider discussion in
academia, policy and wider society. This book has examined the extent and
manner in which Anglo-American relations shaped the direction of propaganda strategy, within the wider ‘counter-terrorism’ adaptation of both
countries. It showed how the domestic structures of each country’s bureaucracy, its