Manuel-Alejandro Egea-Medrano e-mail(Login required) , Antonio Garrido-Rubia e-mail(Login required) , José-Miguel Rojo-Martínez e-mail(Login required)

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Manuel-Alejandro Egea-Medrano e-mail(Login required)
Antonio Garrido-Rubia e-mail(Login required)
José-Miguel Rojo-Martínez e-mail(Login required)



The authors of this work believe that the fact that political iconography can influence reality and intervene in actual events -sometimes by using reinvented motifs and visual narratives from previous iconographic sources, after Warburg’s Pathosformel fashion–, is of utmost importance in political campaigns. In modern electoral campaigns, the use of visual themes that represent different emotions constitutes a clear link with the use of pathos in current political communication. From the perspective of political communication, this work analyses the use of iconography in modern electoral campaigns. In doing so, we trace a link between Warburg’s concept of the pathos formula and the use of different motifs of pathos developed in modern electoral campaigns. Electoral communication uses images linked to emotions such as enthusiasm, hope, fear and identity, which in this paper are studied from a database of posters and electoral spots from recent Spanish campaigns. The study also makes reference to visual motifs of pathos aimed at activating these emotions in the voters in different comparative campaigns and in electoral propaganda.


political iconography, emotions, pathos, electoral campaigns, political communication, symbolic representation


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Special Issue: Visual motifs and representations of power in the public sphere