An Aesthetics of Fear: The 7/7 London Bombings, the Sublime, and

Weber, Cynthia (2006) An Aesthetics of Fear: The 7/7 London Bombings, the Sublime, and Millennium : Journal of International Studies, 34 (3). pp. 683-710. ISSN 0305-8298

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How are the aesthetics of fear politically mobilised and politically mobilising? This article directs this question to a specific series of events beginning with the bombing of the London transportation system on 7/7, the near repeat performance of this event on 7/21, and the `Shoot to Kill to Protect' policy's first application which resulted in the killing of electrician Jean Charles de Menezes on 7/22. In particular, it addresses itself to one specific aestheticisation of fear, the images posted on the website and the incessant circulation and discussion of these images since 7/7. The article a rgues that the asetheticisation of the London bombings through this specific website illustrates the often overlooked second movement in the Kantian sublime: the movement from rupture to a restoration of o rder and of closure. What interests me are the aesthetic strategies by which effects a restoration of order and gives c losure to the breakdown of the British imagination, of not only national security but also unity. This article first traces the reliance of these aesthetic strategies on a Kantian morality. It then explains how these Kantian-inflected strategies repair the breakdown of the British imagination of security through a very specific `panhuman' restoration of British unity. Finally, it analyses the failures of the project, politically and morally.

Item Type:
Journal Article
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Millennium : Journal of International Studies
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RAE_import_type : Journal article RAE_uoa_type : Politics and International Studies
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25 Mar 2008 14:19
Last Modified:
21 Nov 2022 19:49