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Authoring the self: media, voice and testimony in soldiers memoirs

Chouliaraki, Lilie (2016) Authoring the self: media, voice and testimony in soldiers memoirs. Media, War and Conflict, 8 (4). pp. 58-75. ISSN 1750-6352

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Identification Number: 10.1177/1750635216636509


In this article, the author focuses on the struggles over self-representation that soldiers have engaged in at two key historical moments of modern Western warfare: the First World War, the first major industrialised conflict of the 20th century (1914–1918); and the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars, the so-called ‘War on Terror’, which marked the emergence of information warfare in the 21st century (2001–2014). The Western soldier’s self-representation, the author concludes, has shifted from a practice of observing the battlefield as a strange place and himself as an ‘other’ within it, to a practice of considering the ‘other’, here the Iraqi or Afghani local, as the self, someone who shares a Western sense of humanity. These antithetical self-representations, the author argues, point in turn to complex transformations in the technologies, moralities and cultures of warfare, throwing into relief uneasy tensions in the West’s 21st-century interventionist conflicts. In their attempt to move away from the massacres of the 20th-century wars, such conflicts are suspended between sharing humanity and misrecognising ‘others’, between liberating and conquering, between saving and taking lives.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2016 The Author
Divisions: Media and Communications
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Date Deposited: 12 Apr 2016 14:30
Last Modified: 19 Jun 2024 18:57

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