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How to analyze visual propaganda in the Middle East: An analysis of imagery in the “Saudi Strike Force Movie”

Walsh, Tom (2022) 'How to analyze visual propaganda in the Middle East: An analysis of imagery in the “Saudi Strike Force Movie”.', Digest of Middle East Studies, 31 (2). pp. 96-112.


This paper provides an innovative approach to visual analysis in the Middle East. It addresses a fundamental problem in the fields of Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) and Securitization Theory (ST): they largely ignore the visual. This project develops a methodology for visual analysis. Its utility is demonstrated through an examination of a Saudi propaganda video, entitled “Saudi Strike Force Video.” When observing the Saudi-Iranian rivalry on social media, there is a prevalence of visceral visual propaganda. Thus, the need for the construction of a systematic model for its analysis is important in addressing this conceptual gap. CDA and ST are aligned on an essential belief that discourse is a power-laden process, and that to affect change, scholars must attempt to understand its production, articulation, and impact. Yet, both of these approaches tend to focus on the written and spoken word, negating the importance of the visual. This paper contends that the visual is equally power-laden, having a profound effect as a tool of propaganda

Item Type:Article
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Publisher statement:This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Date accepted:21 March 2022
Date deposited:31 May 2022
Date of first online publication:03 May 2022
Date first made open access:31 May 2022

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