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Title: "Death from the skies.” Photographs in museums of the aerial bombing of civilians during World War Two
Authors: Watson, Sheila E. R.
First Published: 30-Sep-2016
Publisher: Routledge
Citation: Watson, SER, "Death from the skies.” Photographs in museums of the aerial bombing of civilians during World War Two, Stylianou E; Stylianou-Lambert T. 'Museums and Photography: Displaying Death', 1, Routledge, 2016
Abstract: The presence or absence of photographs in museums of dead and injured civilians, victims of aerial bombing by both Allies and the Axis powers during the Second World War, reflect both historical conventions and current political concerns, telling us as much about national identity today as they do about events in this period. Drawing on case studies in Germany, England and Scotland, this paper will consider how and why images of death (and indeed the incidents that brought them about in some cases), are excised from some museums but foregrounded in others. In so doing it will consider such photographs within the context of the overarching display techniques of individual museums, in particular the text that accompanies them, and set these against the background of the development of historical narratives of bombing campaigns in the Second World War, including contemporary official attitudes to these events. At the same time it will reflect on the ethics of such exhibits and the ways in which photographs of death during wartime have been used in the past. This is not, however, a chapter about the rights or wrongs of strategic bombing of civilians during the Second World War, a topic which has been covered in detail elsewhere, (for example, Grayling 2007), but more about how images of civilian deaths during bombing raids are used or avoided in the twenty first century to promote national identity. [Opening paragraph]
Series/Report no.: Routledge Research in Museum Studies;
ISBN: 978-1138852044
Version: Post-print
Type: Chapter
Rights: Copyright © 2016, Routledge. Deposited with reference to the publisher’s open access archiving policy.
Description: The file associated with this record is under embargo for 18 months from publication.
Appears in Collections:Books & Book Chapters, School of Museum Studies

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