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The humanity of war: iconic photojournalism of the battlefield, 1914–2012

Chouliaraki, Lilie (2013) The humanity of war: iconic photojournalism of the battlefield, 1914–2012. Visual Communication, 12 (3). pp. 315-340. ISSN 1470-3572

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Identification Number: 10.1177/1470357213484422


This article examines the changing ethics of war photojournalism. It provides a review of the major paradigms of war communication studies, propaganda and memory studies, to argue that, despite their contributions, neither focuses on historical change in the ethics of war. In the light of an analytical discussion of iconic images of the First World War and Second World War as well as the War on Terror in terms of how they portray the battlefield the article argues that there is a historical shift towards an increasingly explicit visualisation of war, which today tends to emphasise the emotional, rather than physical, impact of the battlefield upon both soldiers and civilians. This shift, it concludes, reflects the contemporary political context of humanitarian wars fought with a view to alleviating suffering, rather than wars fought over national sovereignty.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2013 Sage Publications
Divisions: Media and Communications
Subjects: T Technology > TR Photography
Date Deposited: 26 Nov 2012 14:08
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 01:36

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