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'Terrible things happen': Peter Bowker's 'Occupation' and the representation of the Iraq War in British television drama

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'Terrible things happen': Peter Bowker's 'Occupation' and the representation of the Iraq War in British television drama. / Harper, Stephen.

In: Journal of British Cinema and Television, Vol. 10, No. 1, 01.2013, p. 206-223.

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@article{07b61ecbeac54b6da9c7fc70df2a6afc,
title = "'Terrible things happen': Peter Bowker's 'Occupation' and the representation of the Iraq War in British television drama",
abstract = "Peter Bowker and Laurie Borg's three-part television drama Occupation (2009) chronicles the experiences of three British soldiers involved in the 2003 invasion of Iraq. By means of an historically situated textual analysis, this article assesses how far the drama succeeds in presenting a progressive critique of the British military involvement in Iraq. It is argued that although Occupation devotes some narrative space to subaltern perspectives on Britain's military involvement in Iraq, the production – in contrast to some other British television dramas about the Iraq war – tends to privilege pro-war perspectives, elide Iraqi experiences of suffering, and, through the discursive strategy of {\textquoteleft}de-agentification{\textquoteright}, obfuscate the extent of Western responsibility for the damage the war inflicted on Iraq and its population. Appearing six years after the beginning of a war whose prosecution provoked widespread public dissent, Occupation's political silences perhaps illustrate the BBC's difficulty in creating contestatory drama in what some have argued to be the conservative moment of post-Hutton public service broadcasting.",
author = "Stephen Harper",
year = "2013",
month = jan,
doi = "10.3366/jbctv.2013.0130",
language = "English",
volume = "10",
pages = "206--223",
journal = "Journal of British Cinema and Television",
issn = "1743-4521",
publisher = "Edinburgh University Press",
number = "1",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - 'Terrible things happen': Peter Bowker's 'Occupation' and the representation of the Iraq War in British television drama

AU - Harper, Stephen

PY - 2013/1

Y1 - 2013/1

N2 - Peter Bowker and Laurie Borg's three-part television drama Occupation (2009) chronicles the experiences of three British soldiers involved in the 2003 invasion of Iraq. By means of an historically situated textual analysis, this article assesses how far the drama succeeds in presenting a progressive critique of the British military involvement in Iraq. It is argued that although Occupation devotes some narrative space to subaltern perspectives on Britain's military involvement in Iraq, the production – in contrast to some other British television dramas about the Iraq war – tends to privilege pro-war perspectives, elide Iraqi experiences of suffering, and, through the discursive strategy of ‘de-agentification’, obfuscate the extent of Western responsibility for the damage the war inflicted on Iraq and its population. Appearing six years after the beginning of a war whose prosecution provoked widespread public dissent, Occupation's political silences perhaps illustrate the BBC's difficulty in creating contestatory drama in what some have argued to be the conservative moment of post-Hutton public service broadcasting.

AB - Peter Bowker and Laurie Borg's three-part television drama Occupation (2009) chronicles the experiences of three British soldiers involved in the 2003 invasion of Iraq. By means of an historically situated textual analysis, this article assesses how far the drama succeeds in presenting a progressive critique of the British military involvement in Iraq. It is argued that although Occupation devotes some narrative space to subaltern perspectives on Britain's military involvement in Iraq, the production – in contrast to some other British television dramas about the Iraq war – tends to privilege pro-war perspectives, elide Iraqi experiences of suffering, and, through the discursive strategy of ‘de-agentification’, obfuscate the extent of Western responsibility for the damage the war inflicted on Iraq and its population. Appearing six years after the beginning of a war whose prosecution provoked widespread public dissent, Occupation's political silences perhaps illustrate the BBC's difficulty in creating contestatory drama in what some have argued to be the conservative moment of post-Hutton public service broadcasting.

U2 - 10.3366/jbctv.2013.0130

DO - 10.3366/jbctv.2013.0130

M3 - Article

VL - 10

SP - 206

EP - 223

JO - Journal of British Cinema and Television

JF - Journal of British Cinema and Television

SN - 1743-4521

IS - 1

ER -

ID: 186370