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Conference: The Representation of War in Recent Conflicts: Aesthetic, Ethical and Political Issues (Lille, 22-23 November 2012)‏

“The representation of war in recent conflicts: aesthetic, ethical and
political issues”
International Conference
University of Lille 3 Charles de Gaulle, France,
November 22-23, 2012

In the last twenty years many events have taken place in the world
(such as the dissolution of the USSR, or of Yougoslavia), while
various wars and conflicts affected different regions of the world
(Irak, Afghanistan, Tchetchnia, Palestine, Israel, Somalia, etc..)

The aim of the conference will be to examine the various aesthetic
means used to represent war: films, novels, comic strips, photography,
reports. At the core of this theme is the question of the unspeakable,
of what cannot be represented.
In recent times, new forms of war and of representation of the war
have appeared, as a correlate of the technological revolution, It will
be of interest to consider the impact of such means of communications
as the Internet, Twitter, mobile phones (or the recent example of
WikiLeaks) that deeply transform the attitude of populations towards
the war, the way people and their rulers see each other.
The immediacy of television news, the difficulty of verifying facts,
the emotional impact of the images or of the information on the
population will be essential to a global assessment of the problem.
The aesthetic question will also need to be considered, since, as the
etymology of the word implies, it concerns the way one feels and
perceives the world. Besides, the issue of how to convey the truth is
often crucial to artistic preoccupation in this kind of

The following issues will be particularly relevant to the conference :

Does the analyzed work (or works) of art reflect the official line
of the country under consideration, does it play a part in propaganda
or does it offer a direct or disguised criticism of the policy of that
country ?
What impact can this kind of work have on public opinion in
general ? How can one evaluate the use of the images and how can one
create images which evoke the unrepresentable?
What are the differences between documents and works of art where
such issues are concerned?
To what extent does the role of art in its various forms consist
in touching, provoking indignation, strong reactions? Does it tend to
divert or does it merely express the artist’s creativity ? What is its
ultimate aim ?
How can the younger generations be affected ? Is the chosen
artistic medium supposed to have a moral role or can we say that
everything is permitted in the name of artistic freedom ?
What are the limits to the representation of violence? Does it
contribute to acknowledgment by the younger generations of possible
deviations on the individual or collective levels, due to the
unbridling of passions ? Or does it encourage it indirectly ?


The representation of war in recent conflicts: aesthetic, ethical and
political issues (November 22-23, 2012)
I- War and Ideology

A- The denunciation of war
B –The glorification of war (in democratic or dictatorial countries)
II – War and Technology (Internet, Twitter, WikiLeaks, etc.)

A- Dehumanization : fiction versus reality (video games, war seen as a
game, etc.)
B- Hypersensitization (immediacy of the images transmitted throughout
the world and their immediate emotional impact)
C- War images and war of images.
III -War and Affect

A- How to live through the war (representation of traumatic
experiences, process of resilience)
B- War and sensual enjoyment: « beyond the pleasure principle »
(psychoanalytical point of view)
IV- Aesthetics and Engagement: resistance to war.
How to submit

Please submit your proposals (the title, a short abstract -300 to 500
words maximum, and short CV) by
November 1st, 2011

to the following address:

Please try to relate your proposal as closely as possible to one of
the conference themes, as outline above.
The Conference Proceedings will be published. They may be written
either in English or in French.
Scientific comittee

Mme Josiane Paccaud-Huguet (Université de Lyon 2)
M. Marc Crépon (CNRS)
Mme Catherine Géry (Inalco, Paris)
Mme Catherine Dalipagic (Université Charles de Gaulle, Lille3)
Mme Galina Subbotina (Inalco, Paris)