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Visual propaganda of the Taliban: a combination of camera framing, metaphors, colors and symbols of nature

Lieuwe Kalkhoven, Allison Luyckx

Abstract


The Taliban is known as a terrorist organization which has been held responsible for a lot of attacks in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Waziristan, and other places in the world. An analysis of 97 propagandist videos enables us to take a closer look at the (visual) propaganda techniques they use. The results show that the Taliban is indeed an active propaganda machine. In order to enhance the complex organization structure the Taliban uses many different media organizations to create and spread the propaganda videos. When they address their opponents, they use a lot of metaphors and the use of different camera framings and camera angles underlines their images of the own group organization and the opponents. Using variables from previous research on propaganda analysis, a complete variable list will be analyzed in terms of visual terrorist propaganda.

Key words: Taliban – terrorism – visual propaganda – communication strategy

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