October 29, 2023
Chatting the Pictures

Chatting the Pictures: The Israeli Hostage Poster

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

Amit Elkayam took this photo for The New York Times. It shows posters of kidnapped Israelis on a main street in Tel Aviv on Sunday, October 13, 2023. Hamas is holding approximately 200 Israeli hostages and foreign nationals abducted during its October 7th surprise attack. Primarily civilians, they range from infants to people in their 80s. A group called the Hostages and Missing Families Forum is doing intense outreach and lobbying and is behind the poster campaign.

In the video, we discuss how well the posters inform the comparisons analysts have made between this attack and 9/11. We examine the poster’s striking format and how it has circulated worldwide.  Finally, we look at the posters as a reflection of how opposing factions inside Israel have come together – at least for now.

You can find all the Chatting the Pictures replays here.

Post By

See other posts by Staff here.

The Big Picture

Follow us on Instagram (@readingthepictures) and Twitter (@readingthepix), and


A curated collection of pieces related to our most-popular subject matter.


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.


Comments Powered by Disqus