Peace Photography

This study thinks with photography about peace. The book offers an original critique of the almost exclusive focus on violence in recent work on visual culture and presents a completely new research agenda within the overall framework of visual peace research. Critically engaging with both photojournalism and art photography in light of peace theories, it looks for visual representations or anticipations of peace – peace or peace as a potentiality – in the work of selected photographers including Robert Capa and Richard Mosse, thus reinterpreting photography from the Spanish Civil War to current anti-migration politics in Europe. The book argues that peace photography is episodic, culturally specific, process-oriented and considerate of both the past and the future.

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Peace Photography is a timely, original and well-crafted intervention into the ongoing literature examining the capacity of art – in this case photography – to intervene in security, war and global politics. The reader is in excellent hands here: Möller is well-versed in the relevant aesthetic, theoretical, historical and political debates, he traverses photojournalistic images as well as artistic ones, and makes a thoroughly compelling argument for looking outside of the usual frames of war photography to find more hopeful – and indeed, more peaceful – visual re-orderings of the world.

Debbie Lisle, Queen’s University Belfast

War photography is omnipresent and much discussed among scholars. But we know far too little about peace photography. What is it and what political role does it play? In this innovative book, Frank Möller explores how photography can contribute to reconciliation in the aftermath of conflict. In doing so he contributes to our understanding of both photography and peacebuilding.

Roland Bleiker, University of Queensland

Peace Photography is a stimulating chronicle of existing research and the author’s own analysis of the subject of photography during conflict. Peace photography, like peace journalism, advances a novel rethinking of conventional approaches to the representation of peace and security.

(Toby Nelson, Global Change, Peace & Security, March 20, 2019)