“In these last decades ‘concerned’ photography has done at least as much to deaden conscience as to arouse it”, Sontag, S. On Photography (1979). Sontag argued that beleaguering the public with sensationalist photographs of war and poverty was a definitive way to numb the public’s response. Sontag believed that the more distressing images people viewed, the more immune they became to their impact; viewers became reduced to inaction, either through guilt or a dismissive lethargy towards making a difference.
Sontag reversed this view in Regarding the Pain of Others (2004), but ‘compassion fatigue’ is still used as an argument against war imagery today. I have been thinking about this a lot this week in relation to the vast array of citizen journalism images that have been flooding the news stations with injustices. Do those images call us to action? Will they help to provoke change? Can photography change situations? Interestingly, there’s also been a shift to show an opposing side of photography, but based on the same situation. It’s quieter, it’s more of a visceral approach, showing aesthetically interesting images of scenes of devastation, more like an aftermath. There’s a complexity to this style of photography, in particular Joel Meyerowitz is a notable example here, he was the official photographer selected to photograph the scenes after 9/11. But some say, that the latter’s approach almost reduces the desire to a call of action. It’s a compelling that both techniques could manufacture similar feelings in viewers. But if we are able to photograph information including the sheer horror with the aesthetic pull of the image, then surely ‘9/11 Falling Man’ sums up this complete epoch…
I would like to personally thank each artist and photographer this week for submitting your images to our Flickr and Instagram # including:
If you would like your work to be considered for entry in to our weekly Mobile Photography and Art Flickr Group, please submit it to our dedicated group, here. You can also submit images to our Instagram tag for this section #theappwhisperer.
Many thanks and congratulations to all the featured artists in this weeks showcase including:
@rosiekimages, @elsienah, Jenny Pieters, Lara Khatchikian, Gummy Mitthai, Roberta Mitchell, Fiona Christian, @remintrustions – Damian Da Souza, Jennifer Graham, Eliza Badoiu, Susan Latty, Rebecca Tun, Cathrine Halsor, @marshadraws, @ronaldoalmeida100, @klimtt – M. Cecilia São Thiago, Rosalie Heller, @rain.is.poetry – Paul Suciu, Anca Balaj, @gunillamunro_fx – Gunilla Munro Gyllenspetz, Clint Cline, @iphonefineartphotography, @wemarriage_goddess – Bridget Robertson, Linda Hollier, @mitrydate, @jules4921 – Rita Colantonio, @bortolinimassimo – Massimo Bortolini, @patragraphy, @luison_street – Luis Rodriguez, Dina Alfasi, Peter Wilkin, withflowersinherphone – Nicole Bradbery, @ilemusi – Ile Mont, @agdlo.luis – Luis Agudelo, @ange_ombre – Ro Lannes, @draman, Lukas Reichert, Candice Railton, Mark Swanson, Sherrianne100, Jun Yamaguchi, borisbschulz2009, Lorenka Campos, Laila, Fleur Schim, Louise Whiting, Frederic Hutter, Catherine Caddigan, Gianlcua Ricoveri, Judy Wahlberg, p.a.hamel, wawa, Susan Rennie, Susan Maxwell Schmidt, Susan Murtaugh.
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