Volume 4, Issue 1, Spring 2012
War Zone Rhetoric, Photography and the 2011 Riots in England
In the August riots in England 2011, web sites provided up-to-date access to bare witness to the unsettling events that conveyed the essence of contemporary war and crisis reporting. These characteristics include events happening in real time, dramatic accounts, continuous coverage and multimedia footage, with also the inclusion of eyewitness stories and images. The rhetoric of war was used and dramatic photographs played a pivotal role in conveying the civil unrest as a ‘war zone.’ Significantly, the local environment becomes the place for potential trauma, but also a space where the spectacle of violence, destruction, as well as community spirit are foregrounded. This article examines the background to the riots and the vernacular of war photography and the cultural landscape civil unrest and urban space.