Master of Philosophy
Faculty of Law, Humanities and the Arts
Dupont, Stephen, Afghanistan Diaries: 1993 - 2012, Master of Philosophy thesis, Faculty of Law, Humanities and the Arts, University of Wollongong, 2015. http://ro.uow.edu.au/theses/4340
There is little discourse analysis on war diaries and their value as journalistic, historic, artistic and cultural artefacts. War diaries can be truthful, personal and raw accounts of war from the war correspondent’s perspective. When designed and contextualized, they can also become works of art that explore creative and challenging ways of seeing, and so may be a new genre of journalism. Such diaries are often accurate confessions, in public interest, which can also be therapeutic to the writer under pressure, enabling reflection on professional practice. The war diary can help the photojournalist reflect on process and detect instances where practice can be altered, or maintained, to maximize safety and generate strong journalistic outcomes. Such “action research” increases the likelihood of obtaining the best images and sound, and maximizes the likelihood of realizing the best possible ethical outcome, so journalism practice may be improved. This exegesis encompasses a personal reflection on the use of the professional war diary and is submitted with two examples: The Afghanistan Wars, 1993 – 2012 and Why am I a Marine? The exegesis explores how war diaries inform professional practice by enabling reflection in the production of image, print and audio texts for journalism, art, and documentary film. Both war diary works are hand-made artist books and produced as limited edition runs, aimed at private collectors and public institutions.