Images of the Enemy: The ideologies and visual strategies of different cultures

Editors: Lydia Haustein, Bernd M. Scherer & Martin Hager
Published by the Haus der Kulturen der Welt and the Federal Cultural Foundation
Softcover, format: 14 x 22,2 cm
164 pages with 18 illustrations
Wallstein Verlag, 2007
ISBN-10: 3-8353-0126-8
ISBN-13: 978-3-8353-0126-9
Price: € 16

Out of print, possibly available in antiquarian bookshops. Book on

The controversy over the cartoons of the Prophet in February 2006, the fragments from a historical manuscript quoted by the Pope in a speech the following autumn and the violent reactions that ensued once again raise questions about the rules by which people with different value systems live together. These events suddenly revealed just how quickly political and religious actors react, and how instrumentally they use the power of the media to their own ends, when they sense that their religious self-conceptions are under threat. The media also play their part in aggravating the situation by greedily seizing upon every scandal that presents itself, and illustrating their reports with images of radicalised masses. As all forms of public communication now reach people worldwide; we can no longer restrict ourselves to the context of nation states and specific target groups. We are witnessing the emergence of new values in networks that have not always been the focus of secular-liberal human rights and liberties in the past.

The global decentralisation of the world compels us to reconsider the way we want to live together on this planet. We can no longer assume that people around the world are going to automatically accept the social models of the western world, which have spread over the past few centuries. Already, fundamental-religious conflicts show how great the discrepancy has grown, compelling the advocates of liberal rights to discuss their seemingly inviolable security anew.

The present publication brings together positions seeking to counter polarisation. Debates are held – on the basis of diverse cultural values – about strategies for the future that will allow individuals around the world to live together in mutual respect and to show tolerance in the face of differences.