September 21, 2022
Chatting the Pictures

Chatting the Pictures: When the Wind Turbine Met the Wildfire

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

Nuno Andre Ferreira took this photo for EPA. It shows firefighters tackling a forest fire in the Guarda district in central Portugal on Aug 19, 2022. Fires in Portugal and the western Mediterranean have been raging since July. At times, smoke from the blazes, centered in the forest region of central Portugal, have obscured skyscrapers in Madrid 250 miles away. The month of July was the warmest in Portugal in almost 100 years. That week, Portugal registered 215 wildfires, requiring the mobilization of over 8,000 firefighters.

In this video, we discuss how the photo presents a unique juxtaposition. Between the symbols of climate destruction and a green energy solution, the viewer is prompted to think about the status and the outcome. We also focus on the body language of the firefighters and the image of the wind turbine in the context of windmills and (energy) farming.

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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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