Visualizing the Former Cold War "Other"

Images of Eastern Europe in World Regional Geography Textbooks in the United States

in Journal of Educational Media, Memory, and Society
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This article discusses contemporary western representations of the former Cold War geopolitical "other," Eastern Europe, conveyed by illustrations in contemporary American world regional geography textbooks. I would like to explore certain geopolitical biases in the pictures' general messages, such as tendencies to highlight the transitional, problematic, and marginal at the expense of the essential and centripetal characteristics and landscapes. Images of Eastern Europe tend to marginalize it from the rest of Europe by minimizing visual references to its physical landscape and its role in European history; overemphasizing local problems connotes the need for the supranational assistance of the expanding European Union. Overall, this article attempts to reveal various Cold War legacies and "marginalizing" tendencies in visual representations of Eastern Europe, thus contributing to the visual and popular cultural turns in geography and geopolitical studies.