April 25, 2022
Chatting the Pictures

Chatting the Pictures: The All-Presence of Graphic War Images from Ukraine

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 photograph was taken by Carol Guzy for ZUMA Press. It documents the massacre of Ukrainians in the town of Bucha on April 6, 2022, as Investigators and volunteers carry out the grim work of burying the dead and assessing for war crimes. Over 320 bodies were recovered in the suburbs of Kyiv after towns such as Bucha and Irpin were liberated from invading Russian troops. The photo most prominently appeared in a New York Times Opinion article entitled “Photographing Hell” by the Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer, David Hume Kennerly.

In the video, we discuss the liminal quality of the photo—the sense of the man existing in a state between life and death—and how it makes the photo distinct from so many other atrocity images. We also detail key factors that have made so many shocking and horrific photographs from the war in Ukraine so visible in mainstream news.

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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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