The face of genocide

Author/s Jay Winter
Publishing Year 2014 Issue 2013/273
Language Italian Pages 26 P. 608-633 File size 3790 KB
DOI 10.3280/IC2013-273004
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The essay inquiries into the notion of genocide starting from two assumptions: the essence of genocide is absence, nothing, void; essential for the comprehension of the 20th century’s genocides is the dimension of war, since the world armed conflicts of that epoch were a major carrier of genocide. But both the world wars and the genocidal campaigns they produced with the involvement of the past three generations run now the risk of being deleted from memory, not last as a reaction against the enormous number of victims and the tide of terror they aroused. Such matters are examined by the A. also in the light of the testimony offered by the arts, successful in denouncing the crucial change occurred in the lethal power of warfare, as evidenced in particular by the works of Otto Dix, Pablo Picasso and Anselm Kiefer. From this scenery emerges to what extent warfare has changed, and with it the artistic representation of terror and its victims in wartime, but also how the partial suppression of the very human face turns out to be one of the most significant features of the image of war and terror in Western arts. A radical transformation - such is the A.’s suggestion - not merely due to motives internal to the evolution of artistic experience, but to be traced also in the sensibilities of the victims of war and genocides.

Keywords: World wars-genocide-terror, images of war in the 20th Century, Otto Dix, Pablo Picasso, Anselm Kiefer, suppression of human face

Jay Winter, Il volto del genocidio in "ITALIA CONTEMPORANEA" 273/2013, pp 608-633, DOI: 10.3280/IC2013-273004