MetaTOC stay on top of your field, easily

The Politics of Drawing: Children, Evidence, and the Darfur Conflict


International Political Sociology

Published online on


Drawing has been largely neglected in discussions of visuality, conflict, and violence. In 2007, the International Criminal Court accepted 500 children's drawings depicting the conflict in Darfur as contextual evidence for war crime trials against Sudanese officials. Starting from this event, and the attention that the Darfuri children's drawings have garnered internationally, this article explores the role that drawings, and children's drawings in particular, play in the visualization of conflict and violence. Rather than focusing primarily on the relation between image and text, the article argues that visuality needs to be understood as both an aesthetic and social object, whose production, circulation, and reception transform its political effects. It then shows how children's drawings are both differentially produced, and productive of difference and ambivalence, in the “truthfulness” of conflict.