Contemporary militant Islamist ("jihadi") groups, from the Afghan Taliban to Islamic State ("ISIS") and Al-Qaeda and its regional affiliates, produce a steady stream of films and other video productions, print and digital artwork, street and other public signage and billboards, paintings, and graffiti and street art. This visual culture plays a central role in jihadi groups' and their supporters' development of collective identity and their deployment of narratives aimed at expanding their support bases as well as dialoguing with external audiences, both friend and foe. Drawing upon posters, digital artwork, and videos, this guest talk will examine the role of visual culture and visual cultural artifacts among militant Islamists and jihadi movements as well as highlighting popular symbols and themes in jihadi visual cultures.
Dr. Christopher Anzalone is a Research Assistant Professor with Middle East Studies and the Krulak Center at Marine Corps University and an Adjunct Professor with George Mason's Schar School of Policy and Government and Department of History and Art History. He formerly was a postdoctoral visiting scholar with the Ali Vural Ak Center for Global Islamic Studies and a Research Fellow with the International Security Program at Harvard University's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.