Pragmatics, Pain and Forms of Life
Esercizi Filosofici, 6, 2011, pp. 266-280
Tracciati di Etnosemiotica
Franco Angeli, Milano 2007
Linguaggi della guerra
Meltemi, Roma 2004
Can we make war the subject of a semiotic analysis? Of course we can, since it embodies all the problems, the variables and the categories that a discipline such as semiotics - in particular sociosemiotics and the semiotics of culture - recognizes as fundamental: time and space, the actors involved and their ability to plan the action, the relationship between passion, perception and action. The"anomaly" in this case is that it's possible to semiotically study not only systems and practices of production, but also of "destruction", such as their codification and representation. In particular the link between war and storytelling opens up this possibility of investigation. It is in this context that the author frames the relationship between strategies and representations, that is, the ways in which the war is "painted" - described, narrated, photographed, filmed. Behind the apparent diversity, the hypothesis of a structural "plot", of one or more models of confrontation and struggle, emerge. In an attempt to provide some definitions of war between anthropology and semiotics, the author insists on the one hand on a semiotic gaze toward the phenomena of the conflict, on the other on the idea - as well underlined by the last Foucault - of a "war" look on history, to underline in cultures the balance of power and the lines of confrontation. More generally, his goal is to consider the war as part of a given cultural universe, looking at an anthropology of conflicts, that can be placed in a broader project of semiotics of cultures.