Frank Möller, Dr.
Co-editor Cooperation and Conflict: Journal of the Nordic International Studies Association
Tampere Peace Research Institute
Tel. +358 3 355 17690
Fax +358 3 223 6620
Visual and mnemonic dimensions of security
The concepts of security and security policy cannot be adequately understood without taking into consideration images and their incorporation, through repetition and habituation, into a society’s collective memory, thus helping us to determine the social and cognitive frame within which political thought and social action take place. It is argued that visual representations are relevant to the social world of security policy, which is mainly mediated through social memory.
The project aims at deconstructing security and illustrating its dependence on contingent factors which vary among actors and over time. While hardly being the first project to attempt to deconstruct security, it does so in an original manner, namely, by focusing on images and memory.
The project takes a closer look at the visual and mnemonic dimensions of the construction of security and the interrelationship between both dimensions by analysing, for example, images of 9/11 and Abu Ghraib, but also such seemingly less spectacular visual representations as the Belfast murals and their connection with tai relationship to subsequent security policies. It also tries to attempts to illustrate the extent to which security policy can be explained with references to the images and memories each person already carries with them.