/tagged/visual+politics/page/2

The Visual War on Women: Check out yesterday’s BagNewsSalon, held for the first time in Google Hangout!

Visual takeaways from Obama’s new doc

#teamrhetoric  @TPM has a nice piece on the Five Big Takeaways from Obama’s Documentary. I would add this about the visual choices: The framing of Obama as the lone man in the Oval Office, making all the decisions, is the visual touchstone of the narrative. Makes sense when Repubs always want to portray Obama as weak, but it also echoes LBJ’s 1964 “Our President” ad, a much more explicit framing of the president-as-lonely-and-prudent-decider. With heavy reliance on still photographs from Pete Souza, including moments when they drop color to heighten the drama, the film is crammed with shots of Obama worrying, listening, thinking, pondering, all by himself. The loneliest job in America.

Photojournalists committed to making poverty visible, via AmericanPoverty.org. Commentary on this effort from the New Yorker’s Photo Booth blog.

Photojournalists committed to making poverty visible, via AmericanPoverty.org. Commentary on this effort from the New Yorker’s Photo Booth blog.

Lewis Hine child labor photos + Newt Gingrich = fun with viral video! This viral video has gone around the web over the last few days. Among other things, it excoriates Newt Gingrich for his comments about how schoolchildren would be a lot more useful if they just learned some hard work already. Like the really poor ones can be janitors at school!

Of interest to me, of course, is the video maker’s appropriation of Lewis Hine’s Progressive Era child labor photos to offer some perspective by incongruity. While most folks probably couldn’t place them or their time period directly, the Hine photos signal to viewers that Newt’s ideas are, shall we say, more than a little old school. Furthermore, if you’ve spent enough time with the pro-child labor rhetoric of Hine’s period (as I have), you’ll be pleased to know that Newt’s arguments are the exact same arguments folks made back then. Everything old is new(t) again.

The video’s Christmas theme brought to mind another child labor image, this one published in John Spargo’s 1906 The Bitter Cry of the Children. If you look closely at this photo of boys working the night shift at a glass factory (click on photo to make it bigger), you can see the word “xmas” written at the lower left corner of the chalkboard in front of which they are working. It makes one wonder who wrote that, or what precisely Christmas might have meant to these child workers - a blessed day off, perhaps? And while I’m not sure why there were chalkboards in the glass factory, it does eerily visualize the video’s Gingri(n)chian narrative whereby children combine school and labor and it’s all for their own good.

image credits: freeze frame from video by Adam Kontras; John Spargo, Bitter Cry of the Children, 1906.

Am I the only person in the universe who finds the pepper spray meme/appropriations tedious? At their best, they construct smart visual analogies (the image here from Birmingham is the only one I’ve seen that does this well). But most are simply fun with Photoshop. If I were teaching my visual politics class this semester, this would be the essay question on the final exam: Using the example of the UC-Davis pepper spray meme, explain what kind of rhetorical work visual appropriations do. Is appropriation by itself a good strategy of confrontation or resistance? Why/why not?
photo credit: via Joni Spigler on Facebook

Am I the only person in the universe who finds the pepper spray meme/appropriations tedious? At their best, they construct smart visual analogies (the image here from Birmingham is the only one I’ve seen that does this well). But most are simply fun with Photoshop. If I were teaching my visual politics class this semester, this would be the essay question on the final exam: Using the example of the UC-Davis pepper spray meme, explain what kind of rhetorical work visual appropriations do. Is appropriation by itself a good strategy of confrontation or resistance? Why/why not?

photo credit: via Joni Spigler on Facebook

Rest in peace, Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth.
This photo is one of thousands of previously unpublished civil rights-eta photographs discovered in a cardboard box in an equipment closet at the Birmingham News in 2004. The paper made them public in a series of stories and photo exhibits in 2006. See the full online collection here.
I offered a reading of this particular image on BagNews in 2006.

Image credit: “March 6, 1957: The Rev. Shuttlesworth is stopped  before entering the whites only waiting room at Birmingham’s Terminal  station. This photo came one day after the Alabama Public Service  Commission ruled that the waiting rooms must remain segregated. Robert Adams, Birmingham News.”

Rest in peace, Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth.

This photo is one of thousands of previously unpublished civil rights-eta photographs discovered in a cardboard box in an equipment closet at the Birmingham News in 2004. The paper made them public in a series of stories and photo exhibits in 2006. See the full online collection here.

I offered a reading of this particular image on BagNews in 2006.

Image credit: “March 6, 1957: The Rev. Shuttlesworth is stopped before entering the whites only waiting room at Birmingham’s Terminal station. This photo came one day after the Alabama Public Service Commission ruled that the waiting rooms must remain segregated. Robert Adams, Birmingham News.”


More on Obama and White House art: In July President Obama met Ruby Bridges, who was immortalized by Norman Rockwell in his 1964 painting, “The Problem We All Live With.” For some reason the political blogs just popped with this news yesterday — even though the WH Blog posted its video on July 15 and it appears that a still photo of the meeting has been up on the WH Flickr Photostream for weeks.
It seems that Obama has chosen to display Rockwell’s painting on a wall outside the Oval Office for the rest of the summer. (Bridges herself had lobbied for this display.) A screen grab from a White House video chonicling the meeting is above. Absent either President Obama or Bridges, this image offers a striking juxtaposition of the painting with an office environment, albeit the most iconic government office in the world. Commentators have especially emphasized the painting’s clear depiction of the “n-word,” but there’s more, such as the red splat of a tomato thrown at a child, punctuating that evil word and pointing to other potential dangers. The ambivalent protectors surrounding her. And of course the girl herself: small, resolute, not hanging back but striding forward. This painting in that space makes for a compelling and complex display.
It’s not the first time Obama has “brought race” to the Oval Office. In early 2010 he had the original Emancipation Proclamation installed in the Oval Office on the MLK holiday. Laurie Fendrich has a nice piece in today’s Chronicle where she speculates on various media outlets’ responses to the Rockwell painting’s summer home and argues that such representations are precisely the kinds of things that should hang outside the Oval Office.
FYI for rhetoric folks: Victoria Gallagher and Kenneth Zagacki have a nice piece in the May 2005 issue of QJS on Norman Rockwell’s images of civil rights, and in it they offer a fine study of this painting.

More on Obama and White House art: In July President Obama met Ruby Bridges, who was immortalized by Norman Rockwell in his 1964 painting, “The Problem We All Live With.” For some reason the political blogs just popped with this news yesterday — even though the WH Blog posted its video on July 15 and it appears that a still photo of the meeting has been up on the WH Flickr Photostream for weeks.

It seems that Obama has chosen to display Rockwell’s painting on a wall outside the Oval Office for the rest of the summer. (Bridges herself had lobbied for this display.) A screen grab from a White House video chonicling the meeting is above. Absent either President Obama or Bridges, this image offers a striking juxtaposition of the painting with an office environment, albeit the most iconic government office in the world. Commentators have especially emphasized the painting’s clear depiction of the “n-word,” but there’s more, such as the red splat of a tomato thrown at a child, punctuating that evil word and pointing to other potential dangers. The ambivalent protectors surrounding her. And of course the girl herself: small, resolute, not hanging back but striding forward. This painting in that space makes for a compelling and complex display.

It’s not the first time Obama has “brought race” to the Oval Office. In early 2010 he had the original Emancipation Proclamation installed in the Oval Office on the MLK holiday. Laurie Fendrich has a nice piece in today’s Chronicle where she speculates on various media outlets’ responses to the Rockwell painting’s summer home and argues that such representations are precisely the kinds of things that should hang outside the Oval Office.

FYI for rhetoric folks: Victoria Gallagher and Kenneth Zagacki have a nice piece in the May 2005 issue of QJS on Norman Rockwell’s images of civil rights, and in it they offer a fine study of this painting.

Grad Student Research Alert! #teamrhetoric, the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division offers hundreds of potential seminar papers, conference essays, and dissertations. Indulge your curiosity and do some idle browsing now, before the semester gets away from you. You know you want to.
(image credit: Lewis Hine, NCLC Collection, Library of Congress, Nov. 1908)

Grad Student Research Alert! #teamrhetoric, the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division offers hundreds of potential seminar papers, conference essays, and dissertations. Indulge your curiosity and do some idle browsing now, before the semester gets away from you. You know you want to.

(image credit: Lewis Hine, NCLC Collection, Library of Congress, Nov. 1908)

Picturing America?

David Campbell has a really smart commentary today on why photojournalism seems to be “afraid of home.” Though he admits he’s generalizing a bit, he observes that photojournalism seems most vital and romantic when it’s operating offshore. But he also argues that there is much good work happening on the home front, and mentions specifically a project I’m especially excited about: Facing Change/Documenting America, a collective of photographers and writers that claims to be inspired by the FSA and devoted to the creation of a digital, visual public sphere. Now, comparisons to the FSA might be more figurative than literal (the FSA was funded by the federal government while Facing Change is an independent non-profit), and the question of what constitutes a “public sphere” and whether we have one is complex to say the least (I’m teaching a whole class on that this fall). Even so, I’m all in.

Take a look at the archive they’ve built already, and you’ll see why.

BAGnews named a top 20 photo blog!

Breaking news! BAGnewsNotes was just named a top 20 photo blog by LIFE.com. Of The BAG, it wrote

Examining the tiniest, seemingly mundane details of an image to extract its power, its meaning, and its message, the Notes blog (part of a larger site featuring original photography and live interactive discussions) fulfills its mission of “reading the pictures” by starting provocative conversations about how the media illustrate the biggest stories of the day.  …  BagNews Notes may not have all the answers, but in raising the questions, it offers a compelling new lens through which to view our politics, culture and, of course, pictures.

Congrats to the BAG and also to my BAGNews and Twitter friend Pete Brook at Prison Photography. Check out the other blogs on this list too. Several of them are new to me and I can’t wait to get lookin’.

Hey folks, this is what high-level, real-time, engaged online discussion of visual politics looks like! A screenshot of tonight’s BAGNewsSalon at Open-i. So much fun to moderate another Salon tonight, BAGNews’s 10th of these. And many more to come. What a great way to gather together folks from a variety of contexts to talk about the visual field.

Hey folks, this is what high-level, real-time, engaged online discussion of visual politics looks like! A screenshot of tonight’s BAGNewsSalon at Open-i. So much fun to moderate another Salon tonight, BAGNews’s 10th of these. And many more to come. What a great way to gather together folks from a variety of contexts to talk about the visual field.

The Visual War on Women: Check out yesterday’s BagNewsSalon, held for the first time in Google Hangout!

Visual takeaways from Obama’s new doc

#teamrhetoric  @TPM has a nice piece on the Five Big Takeaways from Obama’s Documentary. I would add this about the visual choices: The framing of Obama as the lone man in the Oval Office, making all the decisions, is the visual touchstone of the narrative. Makes sense when Repubs always want to portray Obama as weak, but it also echoes LBJ’s 1964 “Our President” ad, a much more explicit framing of the president-as-lonely-and-prudent-decider. With heavy reliance on still photographs from Pete Souza, including moments when they drop color to heighten the drama, the film is crammed with shots of Obama worrying, listening, thinking, pondering, all by himself. The loneliest job in America.

Photojournalists committed to making poverty visible, via AmericanPoverty.org. Commentary on this effort from the New Yorker’s Photo Booth blog.

Photojournalists committed to making poverty visible, via AmericanPoverty.org. Commentary on this effort from the New Yorker’s Photo Booth blog.

Lewis Hine child labor photos + Newt Gingrich = fun with viral video! This viral video has gone around the web over the last few days. Among other things, it excoriates Newt Gingrich for his comments about how schoolchildren would be a lot more useful if they just learned some hard work already. Like the really poor ones can be janitors at school!

Of interest to me, of course, is the video maker’s appropriation of Lewis Hine’s Progressive Era child labor photos to offer some perspective by incongruity. While most folks probably couldn’t place them or their time period directly, the Hine photos signal to viewers that Newt’s ideas are, shall we say, more than a little old school. Furthermore, if you’ve spent enough time with the pro-child labor rhetoric of Hine’s period (as I have), you’ll be pleased to know that Newt’s arguments are the exact same arguments folks made back then. Everything old is new(t) again.

The video’s Christmas theme brought to mind another child labor image, this one published in John Spargo’s 1906 The Bitter Cry of the Children. If you look closely at this photo of boys working the night shift at a glass factory (click on photo to make it bigger), you can see the word “xmas” written at the lower left corner of the chalkboard in front of which they are working. It makes one wonder who wrote that, or what precisely Christmas might have meant to these child workers - a blessed day off, perhaps? And while I’m not sure why there were chalkboards in the glass factory, it does eerily visualize the video’s Gingri(n)chian narrative whereby children combine school and labor and it’s all for their own good.

image credits: freeze frame from video by Adam Kontras; John Spargo, Bitter Cry of the Children, 1906.

Am I the only person in the universe who finds the pepper spray meme/appropriations tedious? At their best, they construct smart visual analogies (the image here from Birmingham is the only one I’ve seen that does this well). But most are simply fun with Photoshop. If I were teaching my visual politics class this semester, this would be the essay question on the final exam: Using the example of the UC-Davis pepper spray meme, explain what kind of rhetorical work visual appropriations do. Is appropriation by itself a good strategy of confrontation or resistance? Why/why not?
photo credit: via Joni Spigler on Facebook

Am I the only person in the universe who finds the pepper spray meme/appropriations tedious? At their best, they construct smart visual analogies (the image here from Birmingham is the only one I’ve seen that does this well). But most are simply fun with Photoshop. If I were teaching my visual politics class this semester, this would be the essay question on the final exam: Using the example of the UC-Davis pepper spray meme, explain what kind of rhetorical work visual appropriations do. Is appropriation by itself a good strategy of confrontation or resistance? Why/why not?

photo credit: via Joni Spigler on Facebook

Rest in peace, Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth.
This photo is one of thousands of previously unpublished civil rights-eta photographs discovered in a cardboard box in an equipment closet at the Birmingham News in 2004. The paper made them public in a series of stories and photo exhibits in 2006. See the full online collection here.
I offered a reading of this particular image on BagNews in 2006.

Image credit: “March 6, 1957: The Rev. Shuttlesworth is stopped  before entering the whites only waiting room at Birmingham’s Terminal  station. This photo came one day after the Alabama Public Service  Commission ruled that the waiting rooms must remain segregated. Robert Adams, Birmingham News.”

Rest in peace, Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth.

This photo is one of thousands of previously unpublished civil rights-eta photographs discovered in a cardboard box in an equipment closet at the Birmingham News in 2004. The paper made them public in a series of stories and photo exhibits in 2006. See the full online collection here.

I offered a reading of this particular image on BagNews in 2006.

Image credit: “March 6, 1957: The Rev. Shuttlesworth is stopped before entering the whites only waiting room at Birmingham’s Terminal station. This photo came one day after the Alabama Public Service Commission ruled that the waiting rooms must remain segregated. Robert Adams, Birmingham News.”


More on Obama and White House art: In July President Obama met Ruby Bridges, who was immortalized by Norman Rockwell in his 1964 painting, “The Problem We All Live With.” For some reason the political blogs just popped with this news yesterday — even though the WH Blog posted its video on July 15 and it appears that a still photo of the meeting has been up on the WH Flickr Photostream for weeks.
It seems that Obama has chosen to display Rockwell’s painting on a wall outside the Oval Office for the rest of the summer. (Bridges herself had lobbied for this display.) A screen grab from a White House video chonicling the meeting is above. Absent either President Obama or Bridges, this image offers a striking juxtaposition of the painting with an office environment, albeit the most iconic government office in the world. Commentators have especially emphasized the painting’s clear depiction of the “n-word,” but there’s more, such as the red splat of a tomato thrown at a child, punctuating that evil word and pointing to other potential dangers. The ambivalent protectors surrounding her. And of course the girl herself: small, resolute, not hanging back but striding forward. This painting in that space makes for a compelling and complex display.
It’s not the first time Obama has “brought race” to the Oval Office. In early 2010 he had the original Emancipation Proclamation installed in the Oval Office on the MLK holiday. Laurie Fendrich has a nice piece in today’s Chronicle where she speculates on various media outlets’ responses to the Rockwell painting’s summer home and argues that such representations are precisely the kinds of things that should hang outside the Oval Office.
FYI for rhetoric folks: Victoria Gallagher and Kenneth Zagacki have a nice piece in the May 2005 issue of QJS on Norman Rockwell’s images of civil rights, and in it they offer a fine study of this painting.

More on Obama and White House art: In July President Obama met Ruby Bridges, who was immortalized by Norman Rockwell in his 1964 painting, “The Problem We All Live With.” For some reason the political blogs just popped with this news yesterday — even though the WH Blog posted its video on July 15 and it appears that a still photo of the meeting has been up on the WH Flickr Photostream for weeks.

It seems that Obama has chosen to display Rockwell’s painting on a wall outside the Oval Office for the rest of the summer. (Bridges herself had lobbied for this display.) A screen grab from a White House video chonicling the meeting is above. Absent either President Obama or Bridges, this image offers a striking juxtaposition of the painting with an office environment, albeit the most iconic government office in the world. Commentators have especially emphasized the painting’s clear depiction of the “n-word,” but there’s more, such as the red splat of a tomato thrown at a child, punctuating that evil word and pointing to other potential dangers. The ambivalent protectors surrounding her. And of course the girl herself: small, resolute, not hanging back but striding forward. This painting in that space makes for a compelling and complex display.

It’s not the first time Obama has “brought race” to the Oval Office. In early 2010 he had the original Emancipation Proclamation installed in the Oval Office on the MLK holiday. Laurie Fendrich has a nice piece in today’s Chronicle where she speculates on various media outlets’ responses to the Rockwell painting’s summer home and argues that such representations are precisely the kinds of things that should hang outside the Oval Office.

FYI for rhetoric folks: Victoria Gallagher and Kenneth Zagacki have a nice piece in the May 2005 issue of QJS on Norman Rockwell’s images of civil rights, and in it they offer a fine study of this painting.

Grad Student Research Alert! #teamrhetoric, the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division offers hundreds of potential seminar papers, conference essays, and dissertations. Indulge your curiosity and do some idle browsing now, before the semester gets away from you. You know you want to.
(image credit: Lewis Hine, NCLC Collection, Library of Congress, Nov. 1908)

Grad Student Research Alert! #teamrhetoric, the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division offers hundreds of potential seminar papers, conference essays, and dissertations. Indulge your curiosity and do some idle browsing now, before the semester gets away from you. You know you want to.

(image credit: Lewis Hine, NCLC Collection, Library of Congress, Nov. 1908)

Picturing America?

David Campbell has a really smart commentary today on why photojournalism seems to be “afraid of home.” Though he admits he’s generalizing a bit, he observes that photojournalism seems most vital and romantic when it’s operating offshore. But he also argues that there is much good work happening on the home front, and mentions specifically a project I’m especially excited about: Facing Change/Documenting America, a collective of photographers and writers that claims to be inspired by the FSA and devoted to the creation of a digital, visual public sphere. Now, comparisons to the FSA might be more figurative than literal (the FSA was funded by the federal government while Facing Change is an independent non-profit), and the question of what constitutes a “public sphere” and whether we have one is complex to say the least (I’m teaching a whole class on that this fall). Even so, I’m all in.

Take a look at the archive they’ve built already, and you’ll see why.

BAGnews named a top 20 photo blog!

Breaking news! BAGnewsNotes was just named a top 20 photo blog by LIFE.com. Of The BAG, it wrote

Examining the tiniest, seemingly mundane details of an image to extract its power, its meaning, and its message, the Notes blog (part of a larger site featuring original photography and live interactive discussions) fulfills its mission of “reading the pictures” by starting provocative conversations about how the media illustrate the biggest stories of the day.  …  BagNews Notes may not have all the answers, but in raising the questions, it offers a compelling new lens through which to view our politics, culture and, of course, pictures.

Congrats to the BAG and also to my BAGNews and Twitter friend Pete Brook at Prison Photography. Check out the other blogs on this list too. Several of them are new to me and I can’t wait to get lookin’.

Hey folks, this is what high-level, real-time, engaged online discussion of visual politics looks like! A screenshot of tonight’s BAGNewsSalon at Open-i. So much fun to moderate another Salon tonight, BAGNews’s 10th of these. And many more to come. What a great way to gather together folks from a variety of contexts to talk about the visual field.

Hey folks, this is what high-level, real-time, engaged online discussion of visual politics looks like! A screenshot of tonight’s BAGNewsSalon at Open-i. So much fun to moderate another Salon tonight, BAGNews’s 10th of these. And many more to come. What a great way to gather together folks from a variety of contexts to talk about the visual field.

Visual takeaways from Obama’s new doc
Picturing America?
BAGnews named a top 20 photo blog!

About:

Visual Politics: All things visual in public life. Presented by Cara Finnegan, scholar, teacher, rhetoric geek. Lover of photography, art, print culture, politics, and troublemakers.

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