Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Production of Images in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Thank you to the Elder for making me aware of this project by Ruben Salvadori a young Italian photographer studying at Hebrew University. Planetnext has a good read about the production of images in journalism. Of course, it does not only apply to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict but we all know that this setting has provided a wonderful laboratory for producing news:

"The media industry demands dramatic images, forcing photo journalists to seek out and portray drama in their subjects, even where circumstances lack it.

"The public, on the other hand, is constantly overwhelmed by images portraying certain sides of a conflict, but often fail to consider a crucial element behind the scenes: the photographer.

"This project aims to play with the creation and destruction of “drama” by breaking the taboo of the “invisible photographer”.  By including him in the frame, it shows how the image-production process can generate similar photographs that are often over dramatized. In addition, the huge presence of the media turns the conflict into a show in which the photographer has his own role in choosing the dynamics and thus becomes an actor.

"This photo essay is a form of self-criticism by a photographer who became disillusioned by photo journalism after seeing how photo agencies push many colleagues into a hedonistic approach which does not encourage them to consider how their presence influences the events they witness and how their images are produced."

And please allow me to remind you of the two sides of the infamous "Settler runs over Palestinian boy in East Jerusalem" story. The top video is an analysis of the production of the event, below is its presentation on Al Jazeera:

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