War and Photography


War and Photography Book Cover


Why do governments mistrust war photographers?
How far do photographers really change public opinion?

Drawing on the work of Barthes, Eco, Foucault, Baudrillard, Burgin and Tagg, and on the historians of mentalities, War and Photography presents a theoretical approach to the understanding of press photography in its historical and contemporary context.

Brothers applies her argument with special reference to the French and British newspaper images of the Spanish Civil War. Rejecting analyses based upon the content of the images alone, she argues that photographic meaning is largely predetermined by its institutional and cultural context. Acting as witnesses despite themselves, photographs convey a wealthy of information not about any objective reality but about the collective attitudes and beliefs particular to the culture in which they operate.




 An important book.
-- Susan Sontag, Regarding the Pain of Others.

If the photography of the Spanish Civil War established the genre of war photography, this splendid study shows how to interpret those images as evidence of the social assumptions, anxieties and aspirations that underpinned them… Her subtle and lucid analysis comprehensively undermines the notion of any supposed objectivity inherent in the genre.
-- Frances Lannon, Times Literary Supplement

Scholarly and persuasive… the book is invaluable and ranks alongside Herbert Southworth’s Guernica! Guernica! as a fine study of media manipulation of the Spanish conflict.
-- Tony Adgate, The Times Higher Education Supplement

Other Impacts

Kevin Rabelais: 'Close-Up of Robert Capa, the godfather of modern photojournalism,' in The Australian, 14 July 2012

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