“Memorless”: The visual framing of asylum seekers in Israel

Noam Tirosh, Inbal Klein-Avraham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Though it is crucial to the recognition of asylum seekers as refugees, the discussion about their mediated visual representations within host countries’ media is marginalized in academic discourse. Therefore, this study analyzes the visual coverage of asylum seekers’ protests, held in Israel, between December 2013 and January 2014. A qualitative analysis of 79 photographs, published in two newspapers during that time, reveals that asylum seekers are visually framed as (1) imminent threat to society, and (2) as victims in circumstances they cannot influence. Moreover, (3) they are dehumanized through various visual techniques. These visual framings turn the asylum seekers into “memorless” entities—people carrying neither a unique collective memory nor life stories—thus further complicating asylum seekers’ plight.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)381-400
Number of pages20
JournalJournalism Studies
Issue number3
StatePublished - 17 Feb 2019


  • asylum seekers
  • collective memory
  • media memory
  • news framing
  • photojournalism
  • refugees
  • visual framing

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication


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