Captured by the camera's eye: Guantanamo and the shifting frame of the Global War on Terror

Van Veeren, Elspeth (2011) Captured by the camera's eye: Guantanamo and the shifting frame of the Global War on Terror. Review of International Studies, 37 (4). pp. 1721-1749. ISSN 0260-2105

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In January 2002, images of the detention of prisoners held at US Naval Station Guantanamo Bay as part of the Global War on Terrorism were released by the US Department of Defense, a public relations move that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld later referred to as ‘probably unfortunate’. These images, widely reproduced in the media,
quickly came to symbolise the facility and the practices at work there. Nine years on, the images of orange-clad ‘detainees’ – the ‘orange series’ – remain a powerful symbol of US military practices and play a significant role in the resistance to the site. However, as the site has evolved, so too has its visual representation. Official images of these new facilities not only document this evolution but work to constitute, through a careful (re)framing (literal and figurative), a new (re)presentation of the site, and therefore the identities of those
involved. The new series of images not only (re)inscribes the identities of detainees as dangerous but, more importantly, work to constitute the US State as humane and modern. These images are part of a broader effort by the US administration to resituate its image, and remind us, as IR scholars, to look at the diverse set of practices (beyond simply spoken language) to understand the complexity of international politics

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > International Relations
Subjects: J Political Science > JZ International relations
Depositing User: Jayne Paulin
Date Deposited: 14 Nov 2012 12:42
Last Modified: 07 Mar 2017 03:37

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