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Visual rhetoric of the Islamic State (IS): Persuasion in the field of terror



Terror organizations deliberately utilize the power of the image. Through examples, the present analysis employs an iconological-iconographical approach to examine the pictorial world and design of the Islamic State (IS), revealing that the IS uses classic, sometimes commercial motifs. These serve primarily to manifest power through mechanisms of fright, superiority and brutality. Each instance of staged choreography and planimetry functions like a classical battlefield victory image. The IS folds many symbolic messages into these motifs (crucifixions, destruction of cultural objects) through traditional iconoclastic methods. In social media, other more recent visual worlds predominate, covering topics of freedom, health care and family. In Western commercial style, they depict “normal” social life within IS-controlled territory while downplaying the regime’s violent acts.


Palavras-chave: Terror organization, Islamic State, iconography, iconoclasm, propaganda,

Palavras-chave: ,

DOI: 10.5151/despro-icdhs2016-03_005

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Como citar:

SPILLER, Ralf; BREIDENICH, Christof; HILGERS-YILMAZ, Ute; "Visual rhetoric of the Islamic State (IS): Persuasion in the field of terror", p. 206-213 . In: Wong, Wendy Siuyi; Kikuchi, Yuko & Lin, Tingyi (Eds.). Making Trans/National Contemporary Design History [=ICDHS 2016 – 10th Conference of the International Committee for Design History & Design Studies]. São Paulo: Blucher, 2016.
ISSN 2318-6968, DOI 10.5151/despro-icdhs2016-03_005

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