Our culture is suffused with images of death and injury in war. Our ability to engage critically with these images depends on our capacity to recognise and challenge the politics of pain – the politics that is often obliterated by the image itself. The photograph – and even the video – no matter how horrific or painful, does not speak for itself. It is mediated by the photographer’s framing of the scene, by the viewer’s gaze, and by the explanatory (political) narratives that circulate around the image. And while the photograph might purport to express some “truth,” this truth is not self-evident in the image, nor is it politically neutral. For example, the American soldiers who photographed the torture of prisoners at Abu Ghraib likely did not anticipate that their snapshots would become evidence in what has become one of the most infamous torture scandals in US history. Rather, they were more likely performing the act that we would normally associate with the tourist souvenir (Winn 2004; see also Lisle 2000). Steven Winn (2004), writing for the San Francisco Chronicle, described the photographs from Abu Ghraib as tourist-like – the “hurried, candid action shots of a camera hungry to catch it all.” But as with any text, the author’s intention is not an indicator of how something will be received.