Reading The Pictures is dedicated to the analysis of news photos and media images.
January 3, 2005

Looking Up to the West


With its literal and symbolic reference to higher powers, I can only imagine how straight forward this kind of image must be to Bush’s religious fundamentalist, as well as his neoconservative support. 

But, what is the message? 

Is it suggesting that the West (assuming the helicopter is British) is the natural savior against the forces of nature?  (If so, why are we so inconsistent?) 

And, if we are a savior, where are we deriving our authority?  Are we acting as Christian agents, hoping to deliver those that appear alien from us from what must be non-redemptive beliefs? (In this case then, the two women must be appealing both to and beyond the helicopter.)  Are we acting as agents of modernity (doing something about those barefeet)?  Or, considering the neocons, does that higher authority simply begin and end with the helicopter? 

(image: AP/Gurinder Osan in Yahoo News)

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