May 28, 2022
Chatting the Pictures

Chatting the Pictures: The Symbolism of a Home Damaged in the Ukrainian War

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 John Moore for Getty Images. It shows a local resident in Hostomel, Ukraine returning to inspect the damage to her multi-generational home in this suburb of Kyiv on April 25, 2022. The woman, named Oksana, is leaving what remains of the structure after it was rocketed by Russian troops while her mother and grandmother were downstairs. They were evacuated uninjured.

In the video, we discuss the visceral impact of the intimate photo edit and how the visual parallel to tornado and hurricane photos might bring the war closer for western viewers. We also focus on the powerful metaphors including the house as a face or a head, and the profound outcome of walking away.

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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