The Politics of ImagesGeorges Didi-Huberman:Quand les images prennent position. L’Œil de l'histoire, I, 271 pp.Judith Butler:Frames of War. When Is Life Grievable?, 194 pp [Book Review]

Paragraph 36 (3):392-407 (2013)
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The last ten to fifteen years have seen the publication of numerous books and articles considering the relation between images and politics. The reasons for this development are obvious: footage of the World Trade Center attacks and photos from Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo (to give just a few examples) have clearly demonstrated that images not only respond to political events, but also play an important part in shaping them. Images have therefore been blamed for their complicity in these events (in ways that literature and music, for instance, have not), and these accusations have prompted artists, philosophers and theoreticians to investigate how images can also be used to think critically about political events. This text examines two quite different, though not opposed, explorations of this last question: Georges Didi-Huberman’s 'Quand les images prennent position' (2009) — the first volume in a book series entitled 'L’Œil de l’histoire' — and Judith Butler’s 'Frames of War' (2009). In addition to these, a number of Jacques Rancière’s recent writings will be included in the discussion.

Author's Profile

Nikolaj Lubecker
University of Oxford


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