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Watching Babylon: The War in Iraq and Global Visual Culture

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Groundbreaking and compelling, Watching Babylon examines the experience of watching the war against Iraq on television, on the internet, in the cinema and in print media. Mirzoeff shows how the endless stream of images flowing from the Gulf has necessitated a new form of visual thinking, one which recognises that the war has turned images themselves into weapons. Drawing co Groundbreaking and compelling, Watching Babylon examines the experience of watching the war against Iraq on television, on the internet, in the cinema and in print media. Mirzoeff shows how the endless stream of images flowing from the Gulf has necessitated a new form of visual thinking, one which recognises that the war has turned images themselves into weapons. Drawing connections between the history and legend of ancient Babylon, the metaphorical Babylon of Western modernity, and everyday life in the modern suburb of Babylon, New York, Mirzoeff explores ancient concerns which have found new resonance in the present day. In the tradition of Walter Benjamin, Watching Babylon illuminates the Western experience of the Iraqi war and makes us re-examine the very way we look at images of conflict.


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Groundbreaking and compelling, Watching Babylon examines the experience of watching the war against Iraq on television, on the internet, in the cinema and in print media. Mirzoeff shows how the endless stream of images flowing from the Gulf has necessitated a new form of visual thinking, one which recognises that the war has turned images themselves into weapons. Drawing co Groundbreaking and compelling, Watching Babylon examines the experience of watching the war against Iraq on television, on the internet, in the cinema and in print media. Mirzoeff shows how the endless stream of images flowing from the Gulf has necessitated a new form of visual thinking, one which recognises that the war has turned images themselves into weapons. Drawing connections between the history and legend of ancient Babylon, the metaphorical Babylon of Western modernity, and everyday life in the modern suburb of Babylon, New York, Mirzoeff explores ancient concerns which have found new resonance in the present day. In the tradition of Walter Benjamin, Watching Babylon illuminates the Western experience of the Iraqi war and makes us re-examine the very way we look at images of conflict.

38 review for Watching Babylon: The War in Iraq and Global Visual Culture

  1. 4 out of 5

    Yuval

    This was a jumbled and frustrating book that didn't seem to talk about its own subject very much at all. Instead of a coherent argument or idea, Mirzoeff spins off into countless obvious observations about globalization and "visual culture." Part I is meant to discuss how images of war are processed in a typical American suburb, but instead of an in-depth analysis of that, we get an endless diatribe against all the well-worn critiques of America's consumer culture. If you've read NO LOGO or FAST This was a jumbled and frustrating book that didn't seem to talk about its own subject very much at all. Instead of a coherent argument or idea, Mirzoeff spins off into countless obvious observations about globalization and "visual culture." Part I is meant to discuss how images of war are processed in a typical American suburb, but instead of an in-depth analysis of that, we get an endless diatribe against all the well-worn critiques of America's consumer culture. If you've read NO LOGO or FAST FOOD NATION, you'll not get anything new out of this--and you'll certainly get no cogent observations on how Americans process war imagery on a daily basis other than the fact that we all have huge TVs and a lot of ambient media in our lives. (Keen observation, Sherlock.) Part II begins promisingly by tracing the "banality of images" and wondering why the images disseminated around the Iraq war didn't cause more outrage. Unfortunately, after introducing this as the topic of the second part of the book, Mirzoeff never gets close to the subject again. And then Part III was so scattershot as to be about nothing at all...only to end with some generic "we need to be more open-minded" post-script. Yuck. I'm sure this will not be the last book on this topic, but I sure hope future ones are much better written.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen

  3. 4 out of 5

    Dena Al-adeeb

  4. 5 out of 5

    Lil Bun

  5. 4 out of 5

    Matthew Leichenger

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    Brian

  7. 5 out of 5

    Aladdin Elaasar

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    Jen

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    Nate Rennick

  10. 5 out of 5

    Flavio

  11. 5 out of 5

    Huffa

  12. 4 out of 5

    Zana

  13. 5 out of 5

    nick

  14. 5 out of 5

    Rowland

  15. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Bourne

  16. 4 out of 5

    Andre_vecchiochecorre

  17. 4 out of 5

    Ghaida Moussa

  18. 4 out of 5

    Chris

  19. 4 out of 5

    Matej

  20. 5 out of 5

    Olga

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    Holly

  22. 5 out of 5

    Rik Smit

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    Kyle

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    Francesca

  25. 5 out of 5

    Beth

  26. 4 out of 5

    Mike Newton

  27. 5 out of 5

    Shay

  28. 4 out of 5

    Danielle

  29. 5 out of 5

    Olga

  30. 5 out of 5

    Mariam

  31. 4 out of 5

    Mihai

  32. 5 out of 5

    Steven Chang

  33. 5 out of 5

    Brianna

  34. 5 out of 5

    Amar Singh-Jangi

  35. 5 out of 5

    Ezrena

  36. 4 out of 5

    Harjanti

  37. 5 out of 5

    Margaret Mackey

  38. 4 out of 5

    vvsfountain

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