237130 | A2 | W5 | Task 2 Contextual Understanding

Sturken, Marita, and Lisa Cartwright. “Images, Power and Politics”. Practices Of Looking : An Introduction To Visual Culture.: New York : Oxford University Press, 2009.9-48. Print.

A point I found was interesting was the likening of the way we view the image of the children and women’s faces to the way they are viewing the scene (Cartwright, Marita 11). Perhaps for the same reason we are so drawn to crime shows, and why there are traffic jams surrounding accidents, we get a strange kind of pleasure from witnessing scenes of horror and distress. It is this moment which is captured on the children’s faces. Combined with the distress present on the face of the women, we react strongly to the image. Our brains are wired to recognise distress or fear in other people’s faces as it sets off a ‘fear’ reaction as it can signal nearby danger. We realise as the viewer we are not in danger however we still react with a kind of thrill to the distress in the photograph, just as the children do from seeing the crime scene.


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