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The Spectacle

This project is an analysis of the relationships and tensions that exist within visual representations and the media.

Following and documenting the narrative of the Syrian war that received international press coverage, these images were then compared and contrasted with those of war scenes from movies. Drawing from the analysis of Jan Van Toorn's works and his methods of reflexive design, similar dialogic design processes were used to reconsider the role of graphic design in the mediation of messages.

'The Spectacle' critiques the Syrian war story based on these texts and concepts of ‘Society of the Spectacle’ first introduced by Guy Debord. It also uses the texts of Roland Barthes in his book, Camera Lucida, and Susan Sontag’s analysis of images of war in her works On Photography (1977), and Regarding the Pain of Others (2004)

By overlaying war scenes from popular hollywood films onto similar journalistic images from the Syrian war, it aims to demonstrate how journalistic images are essentially competing with these other forms of dramatic and shocking images in our minds. Perhaps that is why their production seeks to shock us more and more.

Role: Strategy, conceptualisation, design, production
Workshop Unit, MA Graphic Branding and Identity, 2014
London College of Communication


Diptee Deshmukh

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  • MA student / Graphic designer

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