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Against Neutrality On Photography By Teju Cole

The photograph and the words arrive simultaneously. They guarantee each other. You believe the words more because the photograph verifies them, and trust the photograph because you trust the words. Additionally, each puts further pressure on the interpretation: A war photograph can, for example, make a grim situation palatable, just as a story about a scandal can make the politician depicted look pathetic. But images, unlike words, are often presumed to be unbiased. The facticity of a photograph can conceal the craftiness of its content and selection.

This is why I noticed a recent tweet by John Edwin Mason, a historian of photography: ‘‘Another reminder that manipulation in photography isn’t really about Photoshop or darkroom tricks.’’ Embedded below this line was another tweet, which contained the photograph of a young woman. She was blond and wore a scoop-neck black sweater over a white blouse. Her eyes looked off to the side. The photograph was black and white, reminiscent of old Hollywood headshots. There was a link to an article at Foreign Policy’s website, and the subject of both the article and the photograph was Marion Maréchal-Le Pen, a 26-year-old French politician and rising star of the far-right Front National.

 

Despre Claudiu Degeratu
Expert in securitate nationala, internationala, NATO, UE, aparare si studii strategice

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