Representations of war

Research Question

An analysis of the visual stereotypes and conventions that represent war, in order to visually reveal the context, broader narratives, similarities, and possibly the patterns of 20th and 21st century armed conflicts.

Aims and Objectives

The understanding of war among people who have not experienced war is now a product of representations from many sources: news, both on TV and in printed media, photography, film, art, video gaming, monuments and even fashion.

Visual discourse is hyper-saturated with repetitive imagery of ongoing-armed conflicts, some glorifying it and some strongly opposed to it, and it seems that armed conflict has come to be considered normal, often even trivialized as another product of everyday life.

My intention in this project is first to sift through the vast scale of visual sources and to conduct a comparison between them. I aim to uncover and create order in the numerous common visual narratives associated with war in different media

Secondly, after conducting research in this unit, I aim to deconstruct this visual discourse and reassemble it in a manner that will function as an informative tool for revisiting the visuals of conflicts that we take for granted.

Work plan / conclusions from peer group discussion

The initial stage is to create a comprehensive visual typology from four different resources: Photojournalism, war Films, documentaries, and video games. I have created six categories, which will apply to these resources: Explosions, soldiers in activity, Portraits, landscapes, graphic symbols, and death. This typology will be my source and a rational for the further experiments I intend to undertake.

In stage two I intend to conduct a series of experiments which will draw attention to the way these conventions and stereotypes are used and reused.

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Posted on July 21, 2011, in Unit 3 - MP. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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