Publication Details

Mackie, V. (2012). The 'Afghan Girls': media representations and frames of war. Continuum: Journal of Media and Cultural Studies, 26 (1), 115-131.


In this article, I survey almost a decade of visual representations of Afghan women, which have emanated from first world media organizations and have circulated in transnational media space. Only one of the photographs is explicitly linked with a political discussion. However, all of the photographs contribute to a set of possible statements about veiling and unveiling. Through discourse analysis informed by a genealogical approach, I demonstrate how these photographs contribute to the constitution of a set of power relations whereby the United States and its Allies have sovereignty and where it seems 'natural' that these sovereign nations can intervene in the affairs of another nation. I argue that these photographs are part of the constitution of a particular regime of representation, where media representations are inextricably linked with military conduct.



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