Fotografia, szok i oburzenie: ramy wojny

Roma Sendyka,

Paweł Sendyka


Modern military conflicts seem to involve more and more ardently the tools of visual discourse. Machine-made pictures, as modern acheiropoeta, provide the mass spectatorship with countless images of wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, or the Balkans. However, the “war of images,” so often diagnosed by contemporary scholars of visual culture, seem to have an interesting feature, which so far has not been pronounced sufficiently enough in current discourse. Namely, the classical mode of pictorial representation of war concentrated predominantly on the Fronterlebnis: the First World War drawings or photographs showed soldiers in immediate combat; the contemporary mode of representation seems to prefer the pre- or post-combat situations: missiles before hitting the target, towns after the bombing etc. Therefore, the main position of the observer shifts from the one of the field soldier to the one of an observer, of a passive by-stander. Traditionally, this position was occupied by women and for that reason it is important to investigate their accounts of “looking at the war atrocities.” The article follows a discussion built up over the years by the books of Virginia Woolf (Three Guineas, 1936) and Susan Sontag (Regarding the Pain of Others, 2003), and a recent publication by Judith Butler (Frames of War, 2009).

Słowa kluczowe: wojna, fotografia wojenna, Virginia Woolf, Susan Sontag, Judith Butler, war, war photographs