Body Horror: Photojournalism, Catastrophe and War
by John Taylor
Asks why anyone would want to look at shocking photographs. The text questions what happens when the press uses gruesome images to represent ... Show synopsis Asks why anyone would want to look at shocking photographs. The text questions what happens when the press uses gruesome images to represent accidents and disasters, murder and execution, grief and death. It examines how the press pictures the dead and injured bodies of foreigners, with particular reference to the special conditions of photographing the horror of wars in the Gulf, Bosnia and Rwanda. It argues that hard-hitting documentary photography contributes to public knowledge and helps to define the freedom of the press. The author highlights the moral respnsibility attached to publishing and seeing photographs of violence, and the moral sleep and historical amnesia that can exist when such imagery goes unseen or unreproduced. The press's squeamishness or careful regard for good taste may hinder its role in reporting controversial matters: on balance, it is more important to have reports and see images of horrors than to risk forgetting them.