Contra journal rethinks the way we see conflict

Posted by Steve Watson on Tuesday, February 13 2018

Take a look inside Contra magazine, the new title investigating conflict and visual culture

Last month we brought together some of the independent magazines that are currently working to change the way people think about the world. With five separate magazines involved it made for a packed panel discussion, and it’s a good job I hadn’t seen Contra yet, otherwise we’d have had to squeeze them in too.

Launched just last month, Contra journal investigates representations of conflict in visual culture. The news is full of images showing the suffering caused by conflict, but it’s rare that we have the time to stop and ask what those images mean: what wider purposes do these pictures serve, and what could we be missing from the complex stories of those involved?

Contra provides a dense and fascinating response, slowing down to tell nuanced stories that encourage the reader to think again about the images we see every day. I was particularly impressed by the way that Contra goes beyond photography to tell its stories, for example using the satellite maps used by WatchTheMed to explain how the natural dangers of the sea are being exploited to construct a deadly but invisible border. Take a look at the video below to see it for yourself, and then go find a copy – this is one you really need to spend some time with…

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