Special Issue "Pictures and Conflicts since 1945"

A special issue of Humanities (ISSN 2076-0787).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (28 February 2018)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Jim Aulich

Manchester School of Art, Manchester Metropolitan University, Lower Ormond St, Manchester M15 6BH, UK
Website | E-Mail
Interests: visual and material culture of conflict; pictures; image theory; propaganda; publicity; graphic ephemera; visual social media
Guest Editor
Ms. Mary Ikoniadou

Manchester School of Art, Manchester Metropolitan University, Lower Ormond St, Manchester M15 6BH, UK
Website | E-Mail
Interests: Cold War visual culture; periodicals; publishing; transnational cultural networks and ‘contact zones’; visual economy

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In more than half a century, the nature and depiction of geopolitical conflicts have changed in technology, scale and character. The Cold War political landscape saw many struggles for liberation and national identity become proxy battlegrounds for the major powers. More recently, wars have been waged in the name of democracy, against terror, and in the interests of linguistically and theologically defined worlds. This volume seeks to demonstrate the ways that technologies of producing pictures and making war have shifted since the end of the Second World War through specific historical and contemporary examples. The processes of visualization and the methodological and epistemological approaches that can be brought to the analysis of the examples in this volume, will contribute to our understanding of the ways conflicts are pictured. The intention is to expand the field of enquiry beyond localized, thematic or media-specific approaches and to encourage new perspectives in the research of visual and material culture in periods of conflict.

Prof. Dr. Jim Aulich
Ms. Mary Ikoniadou
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Humanities is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Visual culture
  • Conflict
  • Post-WWII
  • Art
  • Photography
  • Visual Methodologies
  • Digital Media

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Open AccessArticle Allaying Terror: Domesticating Vietnamese Refugee Artisans as Subjects of American Diplomacy
Humanities 2018, 7(3), 77; https://doi.org/10.3390/h7030077
Received: 6 June 2018 / Revised: 18 July 2018 / Accepted: 24 July 2018 / Published: 1 August 2018
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Abstract
A photograph of a basketmaker and photographs of other refugee artisans published in the August 1956 issue of Interiors magazine iterated some common themes of refugee narratives during a decade of significant migration that saw the United Nations sponsor World Refugee Year in
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A photograph of a basketmaker and photographs of other refugee artisans published in the August 1956 issue of Interiors magazine iterated some common themes of refugee narratives during a decade of significant migration that saw the United Nations sponsor World Refugee Year in 1959. Of particular interest are the ways the publication of the basketmaker photograph helped to demonstrate how Vietnamese refugee artisans suited the needs of an American State Department-led aid project directed by the industrial designer Russel Wright in South Vietnam from 1955–61. The project aimed to export Vietnamese craft to the American middle class as a way to bring South Vietnam into the Free World during the Cold War. This essay explores how the photograph served the American State Department agenda by characterizing its subject in terms of pathos and need. To this point, it helped to allay American anxieties about supporting refugee artisans by depoliticizing the “refugee problem” and resolving it. In this case, refugee photography expressed how the interests of American diplomacy were linking to the American middle class as a demographic becoming synonymous with consumption and whiteness. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pictures and Conflicts since 1945)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Traces of Traces: Time, Space, Objects, and the Forensic Turn in Photography
Humanities 2018, 7(3), 76; https://doi.org/10.3390/h7030076
Received: 7 May 2018 / Revised: 27 June 2018 / Accepted: 15 July 2018 / Published: 27 July 2018
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Abstract
Images of atrocity are deeply problematic, in that they potentially create a tension between form and content and are often accused of re-victimization, aesthetization of suffering, compassion fatigue and exploitation. As an alternative, therefore, there is considerable potential in examining images associated with
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Images of atrocity are deeply problematic, in that they potentially create a tension between form and content and are often accused of re-victimization, aesthetization of suffering, compassion fatigue and exploitation. As an alternative, therefore, there is considerable potential in examining images associated with atrocity that do not depict the actual act of violence or the victim itself, but rather depict the material presence of the spaces and objects involved in such acts. The temporality of the photograph is also fluid in this type of approach. This paper considers the work of four photographers (Edmund Clark, Ashley Gilbertson, Shannon Jensen, and Fred Ramos) who have used a “forensic aesthetic” in their practice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pictures and Conflicts since 1945)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle The Politics of Photobooks: From Brecht’s War Primer (1955) to Broomberg & Chanarin’s War Primer 2 (2011)
Humanities 2018, 7(2), 34; https://doi.org/10.3390/h7020034
Received: 1 March 2018 / Revised: 16 March 2018 / Accepted: 16 March 2018 / Published: 2 April 2018
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Abstract
This essay intervenes in debates about the depiction of conflict since 1945, by comparing two highly significant photographic ‘hacks’: Brecht’s War Primer (Kriegsfibel) 1955; and Broomberg & Chanarin’s War Primer 2, 2011. Kriegsfibel is a collection of images, snipped from
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This essay intervenes in debates about the depiction of conflict since 1945, by comparing two highly significant photographic ‘hacks’: Brecht’s War Primer (Kriegsfibel) 1955; and Broomberg & Chanarin’s War Primer 2, 2011. Kriegsfibel is a collection of images, snipped from wartime newspapers and magazines, which Brecht selected and situated alongside the four-line verses that he used to comment upon and re-caption his pictures. These acerbic ‘photo–epigrams’ captured Brecht’s view, firstly, that photography had become a ‘terrible weapon against truth’ and secondly, that by repositioning the individual image, its political instrumentality might be restored. When, more than half a century later, Broomberg & Chanarin decide to re-work Kriegsfibel to produce War Primer 2, they effectively crash into and redouble the Brechtian hack; updating and further complicating Brecht’s insights; re-animating his original concerns with photography as a form of collective historical elucidation and mounting, literally on top of his pictures of wartime conflict, images from the ‘war on terror’. This essay argues that the re-doubling of War Primer performs multiple critical tasks. It explores the Kriegsfibel as a dynamic confrontation with images of war and stages the enduring need to interrogate and actively re-function images of conflict from WW2 to the present day. It re-examines debates about images as weapons of war in themselves, and finally, it situates the Kriegsfibel assemblage in relation to contemporary understandings of ‘post-truth’. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pictures and Conflicts since 1945)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Reconsidering the Image of the Blue Bra: Photography, Conflict, and Cultural Memory in the 2011–2013 Egyptian Uprising
Humanities 2018, 7(1), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/h7010027
Received: 20 December 2017 / Revised: 13 February 2018 / Accepted: 7 March 2018 / Published: 16 March 2018
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Abstract
The role of photography and social media have been seen as pivotal to the Egyptian political uprisings of 2011 where icons of the revolution circulated widely, helped galvanize protesters, and documented key events against the backdrop of a rapidly shifting discourse of photojournalism.
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The role of photography and social media have been seen as pivotal to the Egyptian political uprisings of 2011 where icons of the revolution circulated widely, helped galvanize protesters, and documented key events against the backdrop of a rapidly shifting discourse of photojournalism. By examining the citizen-produced image of the ‘girl with the blue’ in its capacity to reflect the spatial-temporal dynamics of the revolution, to mediate complex social issues of gender and political visibility, and to contribute to the development of cultural memory role through contemporary street art, this essay uncovers the significance of an icon in the digital age. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pictures and Conflicts since 1945)
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Open AccessArticle Iconography for the Age of Social Media
Humanities 2018, 7(1), 12; https://doi.org/10.3390/h7010012
Received: 6 December 2017 / Revised: 10 January 2018 / Accepted: 24 January 2018 / Published: 26 January 2018
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Abstract
An iconic photograph of Ieshia Evans’ arrest at a Black Lives Matter protest went viral on Twitter. Twitter users’ textual and visual responses to it appear to show recurring patterns in the ways users interpret photographs. Aby Warburg recognized a similar process in
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An iconic photograph of Ieshia Evans’ arrest at a Black Lives Matter protest went viral on Twitter. Twitter users’ textual and visual responses to it appear to show recurring patterns in the ways users interpret photographs. Aby Warburg recognized a similar process in the history of art, referring to the afterlife of images. Evaluating these responses with an updated form of iconography sheds light upon this tangled afterlife across multiple media. Users’ response patterns suggest new ways to develop iconological interpretations, offering clues to a systematic use of iconography as a methodology for social media research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pictures and Conflicts since 1945)
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Open AccessFeature PaperEssay Revisioning Australia’s War Art: Four Painters as Citizens of the ‘Global South’
Humanities 2018, 7(2), 37; https://doi.org/10.3390/h7020037
Received: 29 January 2018 / Revised: 10 April 2018 / Accepted: 12 April 2018 / Published: 17 April 2018
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Abstract
This essay discusses the recent artistic depictions of contemporary war by four artist-academics based in Australia. The families of all four have served in some of the twentieth century’s major conflicts and, more recently, each has been commissioned in Australia or the UK
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This essay discusses the recent artistic depictions of contemporary war by four artist-academics based in Australia. The families of all four have served in some of the twentieth century’s major conflicts and, more recently, each has been commissioned in Australia or the UK to serve as war artists. Collaboratively and individually they produce artwork (placed in national collections) and then, as academics, have come to reflect deeply on the heritage of conflict and war by interrogating contemporary art’s representations of war, conflict and terror. This essay reflects on their collaborations and suggests how Australia’s war-aware, even war-like heritage, might now be re-interpreted not simply as a struggle to safeguard our shores, but as part of a complex, deeply connected global discourse where painters must re-cast themselves as citizens of the ‘global South’. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pictures and Conflicts since 1945)
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