Subjectless images: Visualization of migrants in Croatia and Slovenia

Andreja Vezovnik and Ljiljana Šarić explore how migrants were visually presented in Croatian and Slovenian public broadcaster' online news, during the so-called migration crisis in Europe in the fall of 2015.

The cover of the journal "Social Semiotics".
Photo: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group

Substitution of human subjects

The analysis considers photographs from two public broadcasters’ news portals: Slovenia's and Croatia's The focus is on a specific category of images the authors label subjectless images; that is, images visually representing migrants and migration that avoid showing migrants as subjects. In these images, human subjects are substituted by objects that metaphorically, metonymically, or symbolically stand for migrants and migration. 

Interpreting subjectless images

Vezovnik and Šarić explore the ideological operation of the subjectless images: What is presented to viewers as a certain object's mimetic image is explored within the production of a specific narrative and signification.


The publication is available at Taylor & Francis.

By Ljiljana Šarić
Published Aug. 12, 2019 4:48 PM - Last modified Aug. 12, 2019 4:48 PM