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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 'History, Modernity and Atrocity in Mexican Visual Culture', Bulletin of Spanish Studies 92, pp. 391-421

Author(s) from Durham


This article takes as its starting point the striking juxtaposition of the commemorative activities of 2010 surrounding the celebrations of the bicentenary of the struggle for Independence and the centenary of the outbreak of revolution and the circulation of atrocity images charting the so-called ‘War on drugs’ within the pages of Mexico's respected news weekly Proceso. It asks: how are we to understand the cultural moment that finds the proliferation of visual artefacts associated with the Bi/Centenary involved in the making palpable and present the intangible—namely the modernity of the nation—that sit alongside the severed heads and body parts in Mexico's current violent conflict? Whilst acknowledging the global flows of contemporary visual cultures, it argues that it is essential to locate the circulation of atrocity images within the context of the specificities of the Mexican media environment in which such images bear powerful forensic testimony. It is equally important explore how such images form part of a longer visual genealogy related to the meanings attached to iconoclasm in the colonial baroque imaginary.