War of images, war of theaters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Downloads (Pure)


If there is a book that invites re-appropriation, it is Bertolt Brecht’s relatively little known War Primer (1955), composed of photographs clipped from daily press accompanied by enigmatic epigrams. In a witty act of mimicry, the artist duo Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin composed War Primer 2 (2011) by superimposing a heterogeneous selection of images pertaining to the so-called War on Terror onto the original pages of Brecht’s book. By focusing on images in which the photographic act is made the explicit theme of the photograph, their book reflects on practices of making and disseminating images of violence. On the one hand, War Primer 2 aims to disrupt the firmly entrenched imaginative
geographies of the War on Terror. On the other, it casts a different light on the performative character of photographic imagery. The confrontation of the two photographic collections seems to suggest that there is still much to be learned from the current traffic in images.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-74
Number of pages18
JournalImage & Narrative
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • photography and violence, image wars, performative images, theatricality, War on Terror, torture porn


Dive into the research topics of 'War of images, war of theaters'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this