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.
Clark Hodgin took this photo for The New Yorker. It shows three young people in Central Park as New York City suffers from thick smoke and otherworldly air caused by over 160 wildfires in Quebec and other parts of Canada. This dangerous phenomenon, typically seen on America’s west coast during fire season, is rarely experienced on the east coast.
In this video, we examine the ways in which the smoke, the children’s body language, and the image’s verticality and vanishing points create a sense of claustrophobia, ambiguity, and resignation.
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