May 28, 2022
Chatting the Pictures

Chatting the Pictures: After Mass Shooting Hate Crime in Buffalo, a Prayerful Photo Outside Tops Market

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 Matt Rourke for the AP. It shows people praying outside Tops supermarket in Buffalo on May 15, 2022. Five days before, a white 18-year-old gunman killed 10 people in a mass shooting in a racially-motivated, premeditated hate crime. All of the victims were black.

In the video, we discuss the symbolism of the body language, especially what looks like the “take a knee” protest gesture. We focus on the empty parking lot and the significance of the market to this East Side neighborhood. Finally, we look at the way the gun massacre in Uvalde, Texas that took place a week-and-a-half later informs the way we look at this photo and the Buffalo killings now.

You can find all the Chatting the Pictures replays here.

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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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