Power and responsibility


For me taking images of people in any way is problematic. As a photographer you have to be sensitive to the subject but detached enough from there response as is possible. When taking an image is a literal documented state you are of course wanting to raise and issue or highlight a person or group of people that have significance. But as with all forms of artistic expression you love you self open to the subjectivity of the mind. This can be seen clearly in the image taken by Jeff Mitchell. His intent was to inform and document the mass migration of refugees travelling from Croatia to Slovenia, and when used in partnership with its contextual history is a very thought provoking powerful image. On the other hand the image without a contextual frame of reference isn't enough to show one direct message. You look at the image and see a large group of people congregating in a line on a field like setting, this could be the same image someone would capture from Glastonbury festival or a sponsored walk for charity etc the list goes on. So when raising the idea of ethical judgment on this particular image and how it was used in the EU referendum we need to look at the idea as a whole in an objective manner. The image was used to depict something the photographer wasn't trying to capture. But it was still used in a strong idea with a well thought out contextual premise. We as photographers have a element of guilt attached to the stigma of how our images are used. But the if we are allowing the image to have a subjective meaning that can be used directly with another persons conflicting contextual research, have we really shown the subject in the correct way ? have we thought about the truly subjective nature of our images or are we sill working to the idea that our images are fact and just document a subject.


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