Reading The Pictures is dedicated to the analysis of news photos and media images.
January 2, 2011

Let the Year in Politics Begin!


This photo plays perceptual tricks in the same way the New Years photo we posted of a woman tossing confetti doesn’t instantly stand out as a year-end celebration on the floor of the Chicago Board of Trade. In this case, the show is no celebration. Instead, the image — included in a Big Picture “year in photos” gallery — was taken in October and captures the tactical use of fireworks against Italian riot police to protest the opening of a garbage dump near Mount Vesuvius.

I like it for capturing the love affair with spectacle, and the age old passion for pretty pictures, in spite of what the real hell is about. So POW! Pop! Ka-Boom! Let the year in politics begin!

(photo: Roberto Solomone/AFP/Getty)

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