Visual Communication and Security

Authored by: Axel Heck

The Handbook of Communication and Security

Print publication date:  June  2019
Online publication date:  June  2019

Print ISBN: 9780815396789
eBook ISBN: 9781351180962
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter will outline the connections between Visual Communication Studies (VCS) and Critical Security Studies (CSS) regarding the visual politics of security. Firstly, I will conceptualize visuality as a powerful practice of showing and seeing and discuss how it relates to theoretical debates on visual images in VCS and CSS. The second part of this chapter will shed light on the Saydnaya torture prison in Syria, which was virtually reconstructed by Forensic Architecture (FA) in cooperation with Amnesty International (AI). Drawing on a framing approach, the case study will show how the virtual model of Saydnaya “speaks security,” urging the world public to take action.

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