Les Gueules Cases. Photography and the Making of Disfigurement

Date

2016-11-30

Advisors

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

ISSN

Volume Title

Publisher

Journal of War & Culture Studies

Type

Article

Peer reviewed

Yes

Abstract

Between 1914 and 1918, French visual culture was saturated with photographs of amputees: ex-combatants who had lost an arm or a leg, and had substituted them for prosthetic devices. However, these pictures were all about body mutilations. Facial injuries were also profusely photographed, but barely penetrated into the French visual culture. This article explores the reasons behind this invisibility. It maintains that, during the war, bodily mutilations were associated with discourses on re-education, while facial wounds were connected to the rhetoric of reconstruction. This distinction, grounded on concerns about the function of the limbs and the appearance of the face, was the source of the sparse dissemination of photographs of facial injuries. It will be argued that these wounds became visible only when the focus shifted from the appearance to the social function of the face, and facial injuries began to be understood as ‘disfigurement’.

Description

The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version. The Publisher's final version can be found by following the DOI link.

Keywords

facial injuries, mutilations, disfigurement, re-education, facial reconstruction, First World War, photography history

Citation

Pichel, B. (2017) Les Gueules Cases. Photography and the Making of Disfigurement. Journal of War & Culture Studies, 10 (1), pp. 82-99

Rights

Research Institute

Institute of History
Institute of Art and Design