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Memoria e Ricerca

Violence and war photographs during the First World War: a comparative study between France and Germany through two illustrated

di Joelle Beurier
in Memoria e Ricerca n.s. 20 (2005), p. 23

At the outbreak of the First World War, the French and German illustrated press claim to inform better on the events through the pictures. But the war has changed and the way to die or to fight is not the same before. How pictures can face the question of extreme violence, perpetrated at distance and anonymously? Each weekly will express a particular way to investigate this new reality. When the German newspaper avoids the crude photography and remains in the traditional representation of violence with drawings, the French illustrated press looks for sensational snapshots to bridge the gap between the soldiers and the home front. Finally, beyond many differences regarding the way to deal with specific themes of the conflict, both express a difficulty to face the very violence of the war which is chaos.