The discourses of war photography: Photojournalistic representations of the Palestinian-Israeli war

John Benjamins Publishing Co
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal of Language and Politics, 2003, 1 (2), pp. 255 - 275
Issue Date:
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Photography has a long history of (de-)legitimation of wars. In this paper we examine the visual rhetoric of two newspapers, the British Guardian and the Polish Gazeta Wyborcza in their representation of the Palestinian-Israeli war in October 2000. Although both newspapers have access to the same (agency) photographs, their images differ. Both papers show the Palestinians to be the main victims of the war. However, Gazeta Wyborcza depicts the Palestinians predominantly as terrorists and deflects any military responsibility from the Israelis by not including any photographs of the Israeli soldiers. The Guardian shows the Palestinians predominantly as romanticised, lone heroes against the Israeli military might, although the Israeli military force is vague and de-personalised. Furthermore, both newspapers differ in their representation of the war in political terms choosing different images of local and international politicians.
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