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Inaccessible war: media, memory, trauma and the blueprint

Hoskins, Andrew, Illingworth, Shona (2020) Inaccessible war: media, memory, trauma and the blueprint. Digital War, 1 (1-3). pp. 74-82. ISSN 2662-1975. E-ISSN 2662-1983. (doi:10.1057/s42984-020-00025-8) (KAR id:84631)


This article identifies in digital media ecologies two means through which war is being made increasingly inaccessible to human perception and intelligibility. The first is the digital volume and flux of images, information and disinformation, that afford the impression of a chaotic battlefield in which all sides are fighting with the new tools of participation seemingly in full view. The second is the comparatively silent revolution in military and militarised data and AI through which aerial surveillance has massively expanded so that civilians are increasingly subject to expanding commercial and military exploitation of technology in airspace. One consequence of this is a shift in the trauma of civilians from a memory of the past to a perpetual anticipation of the threat of the future, subjecting increasing numbers of people to unending physical and psychological incarceration in a traumatising present. These shifts in the relationship between war, media, trauma and memory are difficult to make visible in the form of much of traditional scholarly writing in war, media and memory studies. Our work responds to this challenge through interdisciplinary artistic intervention in our production of a ‘Blueprint series’ (following the material architecture blueprints used as working diagrams). In this way, we aim to reveal the dynamics of the multiple co-existences, contradictions and human impacts of inaccessible war.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1057/s42984-020-00025-8
Uncontrolled keywords: Images of war; Surveillance; Hyperattention; Hypervigilance; Memory; Trauma; Blueprint; Interdisciplinarity
Subjects: H Social Sciences
N Visual Arts
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of Arts
Funders: University of Kent (
Depositing User: Shona Illingworth
Date Deposited: 30 Nov 2020 10:34 UTC
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2024 02:18 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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