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Culture Focus Video March 5, 2021

Chatting the Pictures: The “Old Timey” Look of the Second Mars Touch Down

As always, NASA plays the excitement to the hilt. And the first image from Perseverance plays it both forward and backward in time.

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Disaster Focus Video February 28, 2021

Chatting the Pictures: A Telling Photo of a Cold Stricken Texas and the Heat About a Blackout

Blackout photos got Texans steaming after a historic freeze knocked out heat, power, and water. This picture proves telling in every detail.

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Activism & Protest Photo February 25, 2021

What’s Distinguishing and What’s Familiar in the Post-Coup Protest Pictures from Myanmar

A former aid worker and a visual scholar help explain key media and Facebook photos after Myanmar’s military coup.

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Coronavirus Video February 18, 2021

Chatting the Pictures: The Oxygen Tank as Pandemic Icon

We discuss the striking light, the anxious waiting, and the moral implications of this new global symbol.

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Record Texas Freeze and a Photo of the Times

More and more, news photographs are capturing compound crises. Combining climate and Covid, this scene is particularly arresting.

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Business Focus Video February 16, 2021

Chatting the Pictures: Washington Trying to Steady Things

Wall Street craziness. Economic inequality. Capitol uprising. It’s all there in Timothy Clary’s photo of this George Washington statue.

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Biden Presidency Video February 5, 2021

Chatting the Pictures: President Biden’s Fresh Authority

President Biden demonstrates so much leverage with GOP Senators, he's not even in the photo. The Trump and Obama contrast is also telling.

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Photography/Photojournalism Photo February 2, 2021

The Massive Snow Storm of '21, Beyond the Pretty Pictures

The blizzard of '21 is producing gorgeous photography. But these two simple Instagram pix by Mark Peterson keep an unconditional focus on American hardship.

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Coronavirus Video January 29, 2021

Chatting the Pictures: Stunning Factory Photos in the Race to Beat Covid

We discuss the craft and politics of Christopher Payne's exquisite photos showing machines producing vials for the Covid vaccine.

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Biden Presidency Photo January 16, 2021

Where the Mockery Falls

America has largely confused Trump's mockery of democracy with the mocking of Trump himself. The Europeans haven't had such a problem.

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Culture Focus Photo January 11, 2021

The Cult Of Trump In Its Last Throes

In the assault on the Capitol, the distinction between faith, nation, and godhead finally and completely broke down.

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Campaign '20 Photo January 10, 2021

Capitol Artwork a Symbolic Participant in Trump White Supremacist Riot

While the rioters who invaded the Capitol amplified the nation's history of white supremacy, that history was already hanging on the walls behind them.

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COVID 19 Photo December 31, 2020

Media, Grief, and Three Views of a Tragic Covid Zoom Goodbye

In the case where families and loved ones must say goodbye virtually, the life of that terrible scene is not so simple.

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Photography/Photojournalism Photo December 11, 2020

Reading the Symbols of Political Movements: A Joint Reading the Pictures/Columbia University Tow Center and Data Science Institute Salon

In this Salon, we discuss the symbolic strategies of political movements, especially those on the far right, and the challenges posed to the media.

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COVID 19 Photo December 5, 2020

Heartfelt Photos from Covid's Crushing Third Wave

Just like in the spring, the focus has turned to Covid, to grief, and to hospital ICUs. However, the photos seem more intimate this time.

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Campaign '20 Video November 24, 2020

Chatting the Pictures: Kamala’s Sorority Sisters Stroll Dance in Harlem Inspired by 2020 Victory

We discuss the joy and history of Alpha Kappa Alpha as Kamala's sorority sisters stroll dance in Harlem inspired by the Biden/Harris victory.

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COVID 19 Photo November 23, 2020

Covid Denial in One Picture

In one photo, this man has become the poster for a government in denial, and everyone who can't be induced or bothered to wear a mask.

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Campaign '20 Video November 19, 2020

Chatting the Pictures: The Most Secure Election in History

With the president falsely challenging the 2020 election process, this vote counting photo from Pittsburgh comes to stand for its integrity.

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Coronavirus Photo November 16, 2020

The Lasting Image of Trump and the Virus

Many photos link Trump to the pandemic, but this photo-illustration really captures him as the great Covid enabler.

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Campaign '20 Video November 13, 2020

Chatting the Pictures: Our Top Biden/Harris Victory Photograph

The thread running through the photos of people pouring into the street to celebrate Biden’s victory was unbridled joy. This is a classic.

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