UCL Discovery
UCL home » Library Services » Electronic resources » UCL Discovery

Towards A New Model For Approaching Conflict Images: Glimpsing War through Hito Steyerl’s Political Cinema

Bollington, L; (2022) Towards A New Model For Approaching Conflict Images: Glimpsing War through Hito Steyerl’s Political Cinema. Screen , 62 (4) pp. 459-483. 10.1093/screen/hjab049.

[thumbnail of Final manuscript with images.pdf] Text
Final manuscript with images.pdf - Accepted Version
Access restricted to UCL open access staff until 8 January 2024.

Download (638kB)

Abstract

This article provides a theoretically informed close reading of acclaimed filmmaker Hito Steyerl’s striking engagement with the War on Terror in her 2007 documentary artist’s film Lovely Andrea. I discuss how the politics of Steyerl’s confrontation with war are located in her careful selection and assembling of transnational images into intricate motifs forged around the body, the rope (or stand-ins for the rope) and the theme of bondage. These motifs work through the bombarded multimedia terrain in which conflict images circulate, at once replicating the pace, freneticism and truncated views of this terrain and reorganising it by creating unexpected and provocative connections between images, connections that do not only highlight similarities, but often call attention to dissimilitude and misalignment. The article offers a series of examples of the subtle insights and disruptions Lovely Andrea’s motifs yield, through a discussion of: how they work to ‘disembed’ embedded viewpoints through their reframing of the War on Terror; how they undermine the pornography-torture convergence that marked debates about War on Terror black sites; and how they highlight and unhinge critical developments in the structure and operation of twenty-first century power, with particular reference to vertical and horizontal lines. Placing Lovely Andrea in dialogue with influential accounts of the relationship between violence and visuality in aesthetic theory, and drawing on Steyerl’s own essayistic writing, I make the case that Steyerl’s motifs break from paradigms of ethics and empathy, as well as from certain representational approaches, in order to better respond to the forms of power, politics and mediation animating early 21st-century war.

Type: Article
Title: Towards A New Model For Approaching Conflict Images: Glimpsing War through Hito Steyerl’s Political Cinema
DOI: 10.1093/screen/hjab049
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1093/screen/hjab049
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > SELCS
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10140824
Downloads since deposit
2Downloads
Download activity - last month
Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads by country - last 12 months

Archive Staff Only

View Item View Item