OPINION

A war of images?

The war being played out in our living rooms is multifaceted. It is noisy and abounds with images of the dead and wounded. What has particularly caught my attention, however, is the way that the cameras deliberately focus on these wounds, on the tears running down children’s faces. This strange voyeurism suggests a terrible distortion of conscience: Pain can only exist if someone is recording it, if proof is being provided. And a host of «effects» – including lingering camera shots and skilled rhetoric – are deployed to express this mute pain. The current conflict is more real, more awesome than previous wars because we can see the casualties. Meanwhile, television channels continue to broadcast programs, serials and films accompanied by symbols indicating their «suitability» or otherwise. It is the height of hypocrisy that a film showing a fist-fight continues to be deemed «X-rated» while the 8 p.m. news is regarded as suitable viewing for all ages. Meanwhile, although many people say that the shocking images of the war disturb their sleep, they eventually get used to them. Indeed, this «packaging» of violence on television – its division into zones, the soundtrack which shakes our living rooms and serves to «normalize» this new war (a war of images) – will continue long after the current conflict has ended.