The pain of others: framing war photography in Iran

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War photographs have remained essential to the propaganda machinery of the Iranian state since the inception of the war with Iraq. These photographs contribute to the visual culture of martyrdom and are celebrated within a dominant meaning-making regime. However, there are rare counter-narratives that unsettle the master narrative of the Iranian state and I turn to that of a war photographer whose work is side-lined by the state. I explore this counter-narrative to discover the workings of the state-sanctioned narrative through modes of reception of the photographs by Iranians both inside and outside Iran. I strive to trace the reception of the pain of others through politics of frame and the ethnography of the visual culture of martyrdom after almost three decades since the war
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)480-507
Number of pages28
Issue number3
Early online date2017
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • war photography, framing, pain, martyrdom, visual reception, counter-narrative


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