Representations of Children of War

This reading list concerns the representation of war-affected children. Here, the phrase war-affected refers to children who have been directly exposed to a war event or subjected to any of the long-term effects of war, such as “displacement, poverty, homelessness, exploitation, political instability, interrupted education, unhealthy living conditions, discrimination, and a lack of resources for ‘youthful pleasure’” (Daiute, 2010, p. xvi). Most perceptions and understanding of experiences of war-affected children come from sources such as news media, reports of humanitarian aid workers, and research into conflict areas. Across these contexts, images are very powerful sources of information that are prone to political and economic appropriation. Images in these contexts document the reality of modern war (such as the public killing of innocent civilians), but at the same time they also become a commodity, and are therefore prone to exploitation (Kleinman & Kleinman, 1996).

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