Welcome to a special edition of Chatting the Pictures focusing on key photos from the year.
Chatting the Pictures is a weekly, micro-edition of the Reading the Pictures Salon. In each 20-minute webcast, co-hosts Michael Shaw, publisher of Reading the Pictures, and writer and historian, Cara Finnegan, discuss three prominent photos in the news. The program is broken into three segments: “The News,” “The Look,” and “The Pick.” “The News” examine a hard news image for its content value. “The Look” focuses on a news photo for its artistry and style. And “The Pick” asks what made a high profile photo so unique to editors or the public.
“The News” photo this week was taken by Lorenzo Tugnoli for The Washington Post. The picture raises the subject of starvation photos, the difficulty looking at them, and when they are most effective. In this case, the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi by the Saudis led to the US media focusing a critical lens on that country’s war in Yemen and the starvation of its people. America has been abetting that effort. The starvation photos have only heightened political will in the US to curtail this involvement.
For “The Look,” we discuss a photo by Mustafa Hassona of the Anadolu Agency, distributed by Getty. It shows a Palestinian–protesting the naval blockade of Gaza–firing a rock at Israeli troops with a slingshot. Likened to David and Goliath or a famous French painting, Liberty Leading the People, we discuss this viral photo and its popularity versus its content value.
“The Pick” this week features a photo by Daniel Arnold for TIME. It depicts a woman handing a Black Lives Matter sign back to a young boy during a protest against white nationalist in Washington D.C.’s Lafayette Square. We discuss how the photo contains the echo of lynching photos and how much it transcends that history.
You can find all the Chatting the Pictures replays here: