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One image, multiple nationalisms: Face to Face and the Siege at Kanehsatà:ke


Nations and Nationalism

Published online on


Iconic news photographs, particularly those taken during wars and national crises, provide visual synopses of important historical events – events about which stories of triumph and tragedy are superimposed. In this paper, we systematically trace the appearances and discussions of a single, iconic image, given the moniker Face to Face, over time. In the twenty plus years since its initial publication, media discourses around the image referenced Kanien'kehaka /Mohawk, Indigenous, Quebecois and Canadian nationalisms. We conclude that discourses surrounding war and conflict imagery can be read as reflecting plural nationalisms and that while a dominant meaning can be projected onto such imagery, this is neither singular nor fixed.