Images are a big part of our lives, we take them to remember the places we’ve been and moments in our lives, and now we share them online with the world. Then of course, importantly, there are the images we see in the media. An article always comes with a picture, having them helps us visualize what is going on in the news and often, they are stronger than words. But have you ever thought about what you are being shown? Out of all the pictures the photojournalist might have taken, the one you are seeing has gone through careful selection steps. So why did this picture in particular make it? And can you trust them blindly?
By Sonja Nikcevic
Remember the good old days when you could make a politically incorrect joke and not be publicly condemned by the ever-present oversensitivity police? Neither do I. This Western by-product of über-tolerance has reached an all-time high and we are being told and telling others (for the most part – rightly) that EVERYTHING is OK. Race, religion, sexual orientation, gender, body types – it’s all acceptable, desirable and a-ok. Everything that is, except being skinny.
Before the 1960’s and all the way back to the beginnings of modern society, curvy and ‘big’ women were all the rage. Remember the original pin up girls, Mairlyn Monroe and pre-Raphelites? There was nothing skinny about them and the world loved it.
Ferris wheel. How excited was little Daniel when he first met one, back when he was a six year old. The colors, the lights, the size, the height, the stories from his older sisters. Everything pushed him to agree to dad’s suggestion, and jump on one of the carts and go up to the sky. Unfortunately for little Daniel, half way up he felt the disturbing, unique feeling of gummy bears, chocolate ice-cream and juice all mixing and turning in his stomach – nausea. The colors, the lights, the size, the height – all overwhelmed the little boy. “Tell them to stop the wheel”, said Daniel to his dad, “I want to get off”. But this was not part of the wheel-deal.
While the news has been buzzing all week long about the Boston bombings, a picture of the Syrian rebels showed up showing solidarity and support for the victims in the attacks, while simultaneously pointing out that these kind of horrors have become part of everyday life in Syria. This picture makes me wonder about two things. First of all, how does the focus on either putting Boston or Syria in the news work, why do the horrors of Boston get more attention in the news than Syria does? And second of all, what does this picture really represent?