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In the Beginning was the Image: The Omnipresence of Pictures

Time, Truth, Tradition


András Benedek and Ágnes Veszelszki

The authors outline the topic of visuality in the 21st century in a trans- and interdisciplinary theoretical frame from philosophy through communication theory, rhetoric and linguistics to pedagogy. As some scholars of visual communication state, there is a significant link between the downgrading of visual sense making and a dominantly linguistic view of cognition. According to the concept of linguistic turn, everything has its meaning because we attribute meaning to it through language. Our entire world is set in language, and language is the model of human activities. This volume questions the approach in the imagery debate.

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The Rhetorical Lives of (Cold War) Maps (Timothy Barney)


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Timothy Barney

The Rhetorical Lives of (Cold War) Maps

The September 17th, 1951, issue of Time magazine featured a peculiar and striking image over a two-page spread – a map of the sprawling Soviet Union. The map reveals a network of red circles, shaded areas, and pink hammer-and-sickle icons dotted all over the topography of a stark gray and white Soviet landscape, each indicating the location of “Gulag” system prison camps. The accompanying text in Time tells a story of the map’s provocation of an incident between the U.S. and the Soviet Union at the 1951 San Francisco conference to inaugurate a Japanese peace treaty. Here the “Gulag–Slavery, Inc.” map became a cartographic weapon when Missouri’s Congressman O.K. Armstrong walked up to Soviet Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Andrei Gromyko, and asked him if he wanted to see a map of Russia. “I’d be delighted,” said Gromyko. Unfolding the map, Armstrong helpfully explained: “It happens to contain an accurate portrayal of every slave labor camp in the Soviet Union”. Gromyko blinked at the map, mumbled “No comment,” and handed it to an aide who tossed it into the aisle. Indeed, below the imposing map are before/after-style photos of the “incident” – on the left, we see Republican Rep. Armstrong unfolding the map before a sitting Gromyko; on the right, we see a stone-faced Gromyko staring ahead, as the map sits beside him on the floor of the conference room (News in Pictures 1951:...

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