Global Image Wars looks at the enduring power of visual representations to shape identities and structure relations of geopolitical power in the post 9/11 global media order.
Increasingly professional government media management strategies have strengthened the dominance of official perspectives in the US and UK mainstream media. However, cable and satellite television, as well as new media technologies have made it more difficult for nation states to control the information crossing their borders. The ’image wars’ of the twenty-first century are no longer confined to traditional mass media, but extended to an increasingly porous global communication space. Alternative imagery of violent international conflict is exploding onto these new public spheres, and often finds its way into conventional news outlets. Such imagery, in the case of the Iraq war, includes stills and videos created by active duty soldiers and images produced by civilians in the war zone, as well as Iraqi ‘insurgent’ imagery.
Global Image Wars considers the spectacularization of warfare in an era of media convergence, examining how images and practices in post-9/11 global visual culture have been used to license but also challenge geopolitical power.