Terror and Twitter - The Courtauld Institute of Art

Terror and Twitter

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Art and Terror
Art and Terror lecture series

Terror and Twitter

The Courtauld Institute of Art, Somerset House, Strand, London

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  • Tuesday 14 February 2017
    PLEASE NOTE: This Date Has Passed
    5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

    Kenneth Clark Lecture Theatre, The Courtauld Institute of Art, Somerset House, Strand, London, WC2R 0RN


  • Geert van Kesteren - Photographer, writer and filmmaker

Organised by

  • Prof. Julian Stallabrass - The Courtauld Institute of Art

On May 1st, 2003 president Bush addressed his controversial ‘Mission Accomplished’ speech on the flight carrier USS Lincoln, 20 miles out of the coast of San Diego. In this speech, broadcasted worldwide, the war on Iraq was sold as a success story; the Saddam regime was ousted and major combat operations had ended. That same day photojournalist Geert van Kesteren arrived in Baghdad as an independent photojournalist to start working on his most notable photo reports WHY MISTER, WHY? and BAGHDAD CALLING in which he bared witness to a complete opposite reality.

This lecture examines the catastrophic consequences of the war on terror in Iraq that started 14 years ago while addressing the origins of terrorism in the age of twitter. Radical groups rely heavily on information technology, creating a virtual community of jihadis and sympathizers, and, a global community of virtual witnesses to terrorism—a group of which we are nearly all members.

Geert van Kesteren (1966) is a Dutch photographer, writer and filmmaker who has been reporting on conflict and humanitarian crisis throughout the world for well over twenty-five years – most notably Why Mister, Why? (2004) and Baghdad Calling (2008), on the aftermath of the US-led invasion of Iraq. Van Kesteren’s collaboration with acclaimed Dutch designers Mevis and Van Deursen resulted in presentations that ‘breathed new life into photojournalism’. It brought him various international prizes and exhibitions, such as the ICP’s Infinity award, or at the Barbican Art Gallery. His work is part of collections, such as at the Rijksmuseum.

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