Trapped in the Aboriginal reality show

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  • Published 20080603
  • ISBN: 9780733322815
  • Extent: 272 pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm)

Selected for The Best Australian Political Writing 2008; Winner, Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards 2008, The Alfred Deakin Prize for an Essay Advancing Public Debate


JEAN BAUDRILLARD GENERATED international controversy when he described in his essay ‘War Porn’ the way images from Abu Graib prison in Iraq and other ‘consensual and televisual’ violence were used in the aftermath to September 11, 2001. Strong words – perversity, vileness – sparked in his brief, acute analysis: ‘The worst is that it all becomes a parody of violence, a parody of the war itself, pornography becoming the ultimate form of the abjection of war which is unable to be simply war, to be simply about killing, and instead turns itself into a grotesque infantile reality-show, in a desperate simulacrum of power. These scenes are the illustration of a power, without aim, without purpose, without a plausible enemy, and in total impunity. It is only capable of inflicting gratuitous humiliation.’

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