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, circulated by the U.S. military, shows Army Major General Chris Donahue stepping on board a transport plane at the Kabul airport as the last U.S. soldier to leave Afghanistan. In the video, we discuss the viral photo as a brilliant last act of public relations. We note the irony of seeing in the dark as we focus on all the ways the image serves as a bow tie for a disastrous war that was all loose ends. As contemporary as it is, we also examine the picture as the descendant of elegant Civil War-era portraits.
You can find all the Chatting the Pictures replays here.