Welcome to Chatting the Pictures. Every two weeks, we present a short, lively video discussion between Michael Shaw, publisher of Reading the Pictures, and writer, professor, and historian, Cara Finnegan, examining a significant picture in the news. Chatting the Pictures is produced by Liliana Michelena.
This photograph by Mads Nissen, titled “The First Embrace,” was the winner of this year’s World Press Photo of the Year award. It was taken for Panos Pictures and published by Politiken in Denmark. The photo shows a patient being embraced by a nurse in a care home in Sao Paulo during the COVID-19 pandemic. In this video, we recognize the power of contact and touch, and how the photo elevates the patient and the elderly. We also discuss “the win” for metaphor. Whether you see the plastic alluding to the wings of a butterfly or that of an angel, both lend their own weight and meaning to the hug between the patient and the caregiver. Finally, we touch on the significance of the location as Brazil suffers disproportionately from the Covid crisis.
You can find all the Chatting the Pictures replays here.