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School of Modern Languages and Cultures: Hispanic Studies

Staff in the Department of Hispanic Studies

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Publication details for Professor Andrea Noble

2015 'Introduction: Visual Culture and Violence in Contemporary Mexico', Journal of Latin American Cultural Studies 24, pp. 417-433

Author(s) from Durham


The essays on visual culture and violence gathered in this dossier are introduced through an examination of an event that postdates them, namely the disappearance of 43 students from the Raúl Isidro Burgos Rural Teachers College of Ayotzinapa in the small hours of 26 and 27 September 2014. Homing in on the visual evidence deployed at a government press conference on 7 November 2014, this introduction analyses the way in which Mexico’s Attorney General sought to lay claims both to transparency and to national shared feeling; and at the same time, to present the case of the 43 students paradoxically as an ongoing, but closed case. Viewing the questions of visual culture, violence and (contested) historical truths explored in the essays in this dossier through the lens of the Ayotzinapa case (and vice versa), is to undercut the exceptionality of any single instantiation of violence, and instead brings into focus the very violence through which the modern social order has been structured. Finally, the introduction underlines the importance of taking political emotions seriously.