Dodds (2007) Steve Bell's Eye

Steve Bell's Eye: Cartoons, Geopolitics and the Visualization of the 'War on Terror'

Abstract

This article explores the geopolitical representations of British cartoonist Steve Bell. The Bush administration's so-called ‘War on Terror' provides a political and visual backdrop to a detailed analysis of a number of Bell's editorial cartoons in the British newspaper The Guardian, as well as an interview conducted with the artist. As with cartoonists in the past, Bell's work seeks to provide a contemporary view of events in a manner that calls into question dominant practices and representations, such as the USA's ‘War on Terror'. This article is intended to further contribute to the necessary debate on how visual images and technologies are put to work for the purpose of making sense of the geopolitical world around us.

Citation Klaus Dodds (2007). Steve Bell's Eye: Cartoons, Geopolitics and the Visualization of the 'War on Terror'. Security Dialogue, vol. 38 no. 2, pp. 157–177. URL

BibTex entry for this article:

BibTex entry for this article:

@article{dodds2007steve,
author = {Dodds, Klaus},
doi = {10.1177/0967010607078536},
issn = {0967-0106},
journal = {Security Dialogue},
number = {2},
pages = {157--177},
title = {{Steve Bell's Eye: Cartoons, Geopolitics and the Visualization of the 'War on Terror'}},
url = {http://sdi.sagepub.com/content/38/2/157},
volume = {38},
year = {2007}
}

Key ideas

Notes

1) Cartoonists have been the subject of intimidation, violence and even death precisely because their work can belittle and ridicule the powerful and the privileged while at the same time contributing to national iconographies and stereotypes (p. 158)

2) Cartoons deserve to be taken seriously not only as pieces of artwork but also because they generate considerable interest, passion and even violent outrage (p. 158)

3) Cartoons are normally understood by readers to be satirical depictions of real events, they nevertheless draw from an available stock of public knowledge and reproduce a common sense view of the world (p. 158)

Tables and figures

Keywords:

cartoons, geopolitics, steve bell, war on terror

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