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 photo was taken by Al Seib for the Los Angeles Times. It shows kindergartner August Russell clinging to his mother outside Jackson Elementary in Altadena, California, on August 12, 2021, as students return to campus after more than a year of pandemic shutdowns and virtual learning. In the video, we discuss the emotional power of August’s body and face; how the image captures different pandemic parental roles; and the rarity of a non-politicized, back-to-school Covid photo.
You can find all the Chatting the Pictures replays here.