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Apocalyptic Sublime: On the Brighton Photo-Biennial

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image of Historical Materialism

Based on an account of the Brighton Photo-Biennial Memory of Fire: The War of Images and Images of War, curated by Julian Stallabrass in late 2008, this essay considers the photographic coverage of the recent imperialist interventions in the Middle East. Taking its cue from Stallabrass's event, it reflects on the decline of documentary and photojournalism since the Vietnam War and the current attenuated politics of the media. It argues that the problem of the sublime extends beyond the current genre of 'aftermath'-photography and asks what might constitute a more cognitively adequate politics of the image.

Affiliations: 1: Open University


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