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Social Memory and the Representation of 9/11



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SPIEL 24 2005 H 2 x x Douglas Kellner Los Angeles Social Memory and the Representation of 9 11 in Contemporary Hollywood Film Machtvolle Medienspektakel formen soziales Ged chtnis und beeinflussen die individuellen perspektiven von Geschichte und gegenw rtige Realit t ber Images interpretieren und konstruieren Menschen ihre Sichtweisen der Welt wie die allgegenw rtigen Bilder der in die T rme des Word Trade Centers st rzenden Flugzeuge am 11 September 2001 verdeutlichen Der vorliegende Beitrag besch ftigt sich mit den Modi der Repr sentation der Attacken vom 11 September im Hollywood Film und deren Gebrauch als politisches Instrument am Beispiel der Filme United 93 World Trade Center und The Path to 9 11 The September 11 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and on the Pentagon near Washington D C were shocking global media events that dominated public attention and circulated spectacles of terror that generated fear and even panic These media spectacles were intended to terrorize the U S to attack symbolic targets and to promote Jihad against the West as well as to undermine the U S and global economy The World Trade Center WTC is an apt symbol of global capitalism in the heart of the New York financial district while the Pentagon stands as an icon and center of U S military power 1 Powerful media spectacles help shape social memory constructing individual s views of history and contemporary reality 2 Resonant images help construct how people see and interpret the world and the oft repeated images of airplanes hitting the World Trade Center the buildings burning and then collapsing and piles of rubble left in their wake were among the most compelling images ever witnessed by global media culture This 1 The contextualization of 9 11 in this analysis draws upon Kellner 2003a and 2005 2 On media spectacle see Kellner 2003a and 2003b and 2005 The concept of social memory refers in this analysis to the socially constructed images of the past and present in



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