Visual Securitization: Taking the Copenhagen School from the Word to the Image
Images are central to security politics, yet they have so far been under-theorized within Security Studies and International Relations. This talk situates the role of images within Security Studies and it offers, more specifically, a framework for the study of visual securitization. This framework starts from securitization theory as developed by the Copenhagen School, who holds that security is a speech act. The talk will argue that three things set the image aside from the word: immediacy, circulability and ambiguity; that images which are seen as ‘speaking security’ use a wide variety of depictions (demonizing, ridiculing or showing suffering), and that they come from genres that differ in the kinds of knowledge claims that they make. All of this is important for understanding what kind of politics is communicated through images. These points will be made using the Danish Muhammad Cartoon Crisis as an example.