Pasternak, Gil (2009) Covering Horror: Family Photographs in Israeli Reportage on Terrorism. In: History of Photography, 11 March 2009, The Courtauld Institute of Art. (Unpublished)

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This lecture focused on the presentation of family photographs in reports on politically motivated violent attacks appearing in the leading Israeli dailies since the first Intifada of 1987.

Having realised that a too explicit coverage of attacks might damage the morale of the Israelis, the dailies' editors virtually agreed in 1997 to refrain from publishing explicit photographs of corpses, expressions of panic, hysteria, grief and anxiety. Instead, the Israeli media turned to what eventually became the only valid, indisputable means to represent the dead victims: their family photographs. These pictures, however, refer to a different space, time, and occasion; they draw attention to more pleasurable moments and biographical highlights, whereas the nature of the reported event and the report itself inevitably focuses on violence, death and loss.

The aim of this lecture was to trace the involvement and impact such images maintain upon the historical narration of the ongoing Israel-Palestine political conflict.

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