Re-visioning Australia's Second World War: Race Hatred, Strategic Marginalisation, and the Visual Language of the South West Pacific Campaign

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Abstract

Official photographs of Australia’s military campaigns in the South West Pacific during the Second World War established a popular vision of the nation’s forces as a military and moral elite that played a key role in the defeat of Japan. This chapter appraises the photographic evidence for this narrative, its provenance, and its production. It details the policies dictating how competing organisations gathered and disseminated photographs from the Pacific, considering the influence of these policies on the visual and popular history of the conflict. It proposes that sampling a broader array of images, reading their visual language afresh, and treating photography as a source of original meaning rather than the validation of established fact can radically reframe our understanding of the motivations and centrality of the nation’s forces in the South West Pacific.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationExpressions of War in Australia and the Pacific
Subtitle of host publicationLanguage, Trauma, Memory, and Official Discourse
EditorsAmanda Laugesen, Catherine Fisher
Place of PublicationCham Switzerland
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Pages127-159
Number of pages33
ISBN (Electronic) 9783030238902
ISBN (Print) 9783030238896
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Publication series

NamePalgrave Studies in Languages at War
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan

Cite this

Foster, K. (2020). Re-visioning Australia's Second World War: Race Hatred, Strategic Marginalisation, and the Visual Language of the South West Pacific Campaign. In A. Laugesen, & C. Fisher (Eds.), Expressions of War in Australia and the Pacific: Language, Trauma, Memory, and Official Discourse (pp. 127-159). (Palgrave Studies in Languages at War). Palgrave Macmillan.