Throughout its history, photography has had an intimate relationship with violence (Sontag 2003). For just as long, the relationship has fuelled anxiety. Critics worry when no photographs record a violent conflict and when photos abound. With good reasons: if the absence of pictures renders plights invisible or lives insignificant, a surfeit may make matters worse. Photographs not only document violence around the globe but also extend its repertoire and reach. Think, for example, of terrorism and the imperial violence carried out in the name of counter-terrorism: the very real business of killing is staged for the mass media in an attempt to create “images that traumatise their beholders” (Mitchell 2011: 12). If our image world is political, that’s not only because powerful actors, movements and institutions affect what pictures we see. It is also because images and visual practices shape political subjects, verbs and objects – the categories (including, say, “terrorist”) through which we perceive, experience, act within and demarcate the political arena. We should not be surprised, then, that the manner of picturing violence generates concern: the stakes are high.