March 3, 2022
Chatting the Pictures

Chatting the Pictures: The (Visual) Chaos of the Canadian Trucker Standoff

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.

By Staff
About the Video
This photo was taken by Spencer Platt for Getty Images on February 9, 2022. It shows long-haul trucks blocking the streets of downtown Ottawa as part of a protest against Covid-19 vaccine mandates for drivers crossing the border. The occupation dubbed the ‘Freedom Convoy’ and cheered on by American far-right groups, paralyzed Canada’s capital for almost three weeks.
In the video, we discuss the angry confusion of right-wing messaging and the tendency to turn objects and symbols, in this case, the gas can and the Canadian Maple Leaf, into icons of nationalism. We also examine the protester’s fight with Canadian authorities over noisemaking and the way children and families were purposed to perpetuate the standoff.
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Michael Shaw

An analyst of news photos and visual journalism, and a frequent lecturer and writer on visual politics, photojournalism and media literacy, Michael is the founder and publisher of Reading the Pictures.

Cara Finnegan

Cara Finnegan is a writer, photo historian, and professor of Communication at the University of Illinois. She has been affiliated with Reading The Pictures for nearly 15 years, most recently as co-host of Chatting The Pictures. Her most recent book is Photographic Presidents: Making History from Daguerreotype to Digital.


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