Working Paper

Working Paper 72 (2011)   ISBN 978-951-769-311-0

Humanitarian soldiers, colonialised Others and invisible enemies:
Visual strategic communication narratives of the Afghan war

Published 24.8.2011

Noora Kotilainen
The Finnish Institute of International Affairs

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The publicity photos released by ISAF sketch a manifold depiction of the current operation in Afghanistan. The images describe and adapt according to the official objectives of the operation and present the coalition presence and work in the area in a positive light. The soldiers are pictured playing, giving gifts, and interacting with the locals, while the Afghans are pictured as child-like, underdeveloped and in need of the Western aid.