Images in the aftermath of trauma: Responding to September 11th
Source TitleCrime, Media, Culture: an international journal
University of Melbourne Author/sYoung, Alison
AffiliationSocial and Political Sciences
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsYOUNG, A. (2007). Images in the aftermath of trauma: Responding to September 11th. Crime, Media, Culture, 3 (1), pp.30-48. https://doi.org/10.1177/1741659007074444.
Access StatusThis item is currently not available from this repository
An event such as the attack on Manhattan on September 11th 2001 is socially, culturally and politically traumatizing. Those who saw the attack (in person or through media coverage) emphasized its visual impact. Faced with such visual trauma, it is unsurprising that the aftermath of the attacks had a representational dimension, as individuals and institutions strove to suture the resulting wound through image making. This article investigates the legacy of visual trauma after September 11th in the difficult interim years when disaster is no longer part of the immediate past. I focus on two texts (the Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States, or 9/11 Report, and a short film by the Mexican director, Alejandro González Iñárritu), each of which displays in different ways the effects of the trauma of witnessing disaster. The aim is to raise questions about the legacy of traumatic events for the legal and cultural responses which follow in their wake, and to that extent the article thinks through the demands of witnessing trauma, the ethical challenges for the cinematic documentation of a traumatic event, and the limits upon judgment in the aftermath of disaster.
KeywordsCommunication and Media Studies
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