Understanding conflict and visual culture in Contra Journal

by Steve Watson in April 2018
Current affairsPhotography

When I saw the footage of British jets taking off to bomb targets in Syria a couple of weeks ago, my mind went back to a conversation I had with three of the editors from Contra Journal, the new magazine of conflict and visual culture. Speaking in March at the EDCH conference in Munich, they explained why they were drawn to this notoriously difficult subject, pointing out that all images of war and its consequences are aestheticised, and noting that they wanted the opportunity to explore that away from the frenetic pace of rolling news and social media.

The result is a beautiful print magazine packed with dense and complex stories that investigate the many different ways that conflict can be visualised and understood. As you’ll hear from the conversation below, they feel enormous responsibility in tackling this subject and are keenly aware of their own prejudices and biases, all of which has contributed to the subtlety and nuance of the finished product.

It was fascinating speaking to them, so I hope you’ll enjoy this conversation with Ben Bohm-Duchen, George Brodie and Shivani Hassard, and remember we have lots more episodes ready for your listening pleasure on Soundcloud and iTunes – head over there and lose yourself in tales from the world of independent publishing…

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