Questions about authenticity, the use of photography as evidence, the transference of events into memory, and the passage of history into postmemory constitute some of the most salient problems that underline the representation of history.

When we think of war photography, it is usually reportage which comes to mind. We are surrounded by imagery of war, in the press, on television and in films which constantly reinterpret and represent past conflicts. Through these media, the war photojournalist has become a recognised and sometimes legendary figure. Indeed, so much has been written about war reporters and their photographs, that at times the work begins to parody itself.

From photoreportage, war itself becomes a construct, a compilation of visual information which must answer the expectations of a waiting public. When we see a photo-story about war, we subliminally anticipate a number of visual elements - a dead body, an anguished family, a destroyed building, a distraught child. Without these indicators of what a photograph is, and what it means, we might be disappointed, unable to feel guilt or compassion, and deprived of catharsis.

The study of the photography of the Iran-Iraq war (1980-88) is an unknown topic in the West. In this panel for the first time we try to present and study the basic and important elements of this school of photography of post-revolutionary Iran. Topics of interest will include but not be limited to:

  • War photography and ethical issues
  • War photography and public engagement during and after war
  • War photography as reconstruction of memory and trauma
  • Mockery, joking and fun in war photography

All submissions should be made online on the official website of the conference: http://www.nomadit.co.uk/rai/events/rai2014/panels.php5?PanelID=2590

For further information and enquiries, please contact Dr.P. Khosronejad (pk18@st-andrews.ac.uk)