April 6, 2024
Chatting the Pictures

Chatting the Pictures: The Feast of the Arms Industry

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 Nikita Teryoshin. It shows a VIP reception at a Swedish booth at an arms fair in Kielce, Poland, in 2016. Teryoshin spent eight years traveling to defense shows worldwide, capturing the surreal ways weapons are bought and sold. This photo is featured in his newly published photobook, “Nothing Personal – The Back Office of War.”

In the video, we break down the satire of this and other photos by Teryoshin and how the lampooning is even weightier because these arms expos evade public radar. We focus on the juxtaposition of firepower and finger food, the odd melding of man and machine, the surreal fetishizing of weaponry, and how these lavish displays reveal the military-industrial complex’s voracious hunger for power and profitability.

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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