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Visual Aspects of the Symbols of Terrorism. Identity, Representations, and Visual Statues

  • Federico O. OppedisanoEmail author
Conference paper
  • 211 Downloads
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 1140)

Abstract

This article investigates the representational and graphical characteristics of the symbols of terrorism and relationships between the visual statues that characterize the periods in which armed organizations develop. When this phenomenon spread throughout Italy and Europe in the 1970s, the visual identities of terrorism seemed to be united largely with the distinctive signs of totalitarian regimes in the early 1900s. These simple signs were easy to reproduce and conformed to the visual climate of the period of protest that began in 1968. The climate was defined by self-produced languages and artefacts that differed from professional elements used in the world of institutional and commercial communication, determining “low-definition” visual paradigms that characterized the image if terrorism itself. The new terrorism of the Islamic State has subverted these paradigms, making use of more complex, more articulated symbolism that is difficult to reproduce. It uses systems of communication that employ the same visual statues as in “high-definition” cinematic fantasy, in which violent actions are transmitted and spread. In the collective imagination, this paradox subverts the visual statute of the phenomenon of terrorism, which also seems to depend on technical factors that are apparently marginal but which actually distinguish the visual artefacts and media. These factors are shown to be aesthetic qualities capable of influencing the perception of terrorism and are key in strategically orienting the symbolism of terrorism in public opinion and imagination.

Keywords

Symbols Visual identity Terrorism Visual statutes Media Image resolution 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Architecture and DesignUniversity of CamerinoCamerinoItaly

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