Bulgarian Visual (Hi)Story of the WW I
The article offers a discussion of the visual coverage of the WW I in Bulgaria at the time. The author draws on the use of images in the Bulgarian journal Илюстрация Светлина (Illustration Light), which was published from 1891 to the 1930s, to exemplify the way media in Bulgaria accounted for the war visually. A visible change in the coverage of the war is outlined after Bulgaria entered the war. Particular attention is paid to the way allies and enemies were depicted. The author comes to the following conclusions: First, the visual content of the journal played a role in the process of mobilizing Bulgarian people and supporting their high spirit. Visual material was used by the editor of Illustration Light to commemorate important lieux de mémoirs (à la Pierre Nora) in the recent history of Bulgarian people and state, on the one hand, and, on the other hand, as a means of communicating news about the contemporary events. Second, from the point of view of the form, the WW I was covered in Illustration Light by a mix of “traditional” and “modern” representations (drawings and reproductions of paintings, lithographs, and cartoons vs. photography). The new forms of visual media pretended to reproduce reality and truth but the photograph is not just a registration of what happened, it always is an image chosen by someone. Third, having in mind the fact that visual materials were used for mobilization and propaganda and the existence of censorship, the reading audience was made to take notice of what Bulgarian government wanted Bulgarian people to pay attention to.
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