Interpretations and Perspectives of the Great Conflict
Mika Suonpää - Images of Macedonia in Punch, 1912–1918
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Department of Philosophy, Contemporary History and Political Science University of Turku, Finland
Images of Macedonia in Punch, 1912–1918
Abstract: The chapter examines Punch’s representations of Macedonia in 1912–1918, during the Balkan Wars and World War I. Punch was the most significant British comic weekly of this era and, importantly, shaped British perceptions of the Balkans. The so-called ‘Macedonian Question’ was among the key issues in European diplomacy from the late 1880s onwards when Bulgaria, Serbia, Greece and, to a certain degree, Romania, began to make nationalistic claims on Macedonia. Years of Ottoman misrule in the province and primarily British and Russian efforts to push the Ottoman government to introduce administrative reforms was the other crucial aspect of the problem. Generally, Balkan issues attracted the attention of Punch only during crises and war and this had a significant impact on the ways in which the region was imagined in Britain. During the First Balkan War, Punch celebrated the province’s liberation from Ottoman rule and depicted the Balkan states as a group of militaristic small nations. In the course of the short Second Balkan War, as a direct response to events, the magazine began to feature caricatures on the worsening of the relations between the members of the Balkan League. During the Salonika Campaign of 1915–1918, Punch depicted Macedonia as an archaic world and exemplified the image of the campaign as a large holiday camp. These representations were...
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