DEATH, WAR, CENSORSHIP, FETISHISM AND HEROIC AFTERLIVES THROUGH DIGITAL NARRATIVES: THE MEDIATED REPRESENTATIONS OF ETHICS, DEATH, VICTORY AND SURVIVAL
It is no longer possible to shy away from the trans-mediated presence of death that symbolizes, in the context of contemporary cultural conflicts and upheavals, not only change within the wider local communities but also changes within the Western world and its relationships with ‘other’ countries within the Near East.
The essay, taking as a starting point Istanbul where different cultural perspectives mesh with one another in a variety of combinations and hybrids, will analyze the representation of death, war and its censorship in contemporary Western society and evaluate in a comparative analysis both phenomena of exaltation of heroic afterlives and phenomena of demonization of the enemy.
These phenomena are framed within cultural perspectives that generate opposite interpretations and narratives of the same events, thereby creating conflicting histories that represent the ‘winners’ or the ‘losers.’
In this context of multiple narratives the fetishist representation of death as an act of defiance and an act of revenge becomes part of a complex visual narrative that places very differing concepts of life, community and service to a higher purpose side by side. It is perhaps the fascination not with death itself but with the ultimate rejection of life that is at the basis of this fetishist gaze.
The narratives, those of the losers and those of the winners, entangle in an online surplus of information and commentaries that re-create and re-interpret contexts and motives, generating new cultural parameters that justify phenomena of censorship of imageries of death.
“A number of TV and radio shows, including PBS ‘Wide Angle’ have taken a more general approach including Tamil Tigers, Viet Minh, and the Turkish PKK, calling them ‘nationalist exceptions’ to the religious phenomenon of Muslim suicide bombers. In some cases, however, it is questionable whether we are utilizing acts derived from policy and dogma or individual acts of revenge.”