Politacal Forum?

Discussion in 'Photo.net Site Help' started by jay_philbrick, Sep 7, 2004.

  1. Why have the image and resulting comments in the top photos forum at
    http://www.photo.net/photo/2669333 not been removed
    or at least moderated. While I can see that the person who posted the
    image had her heart in the right place and was only trying to express
    her sorrow over a tragic recent event, I see several problems here.
    The image is not a photo and this forum is for posting photos. The
    comments are supposed to be about the photo. They are not (even if it
    was a photo) and many are very abusive and insulting to all manner of
    races and religions. This is not a political forum. It is a photo
    forum and such entries are simply in the wrong place here. I would
    hate to have to sort through numerous such entries when I come to this
    site to enjoy the art of others and to learn. It's not that I'm
    insensitve to what is happening in the world, I just don't want to see
    it here (too much). There are tons of political forums to browse and
    to engage in such things.
  2. It started with a nice thought, and it's a subject worthy of great attention, but honestly the whole thing should be deleted from photo.net at this point.
  3. It has gone far beyond political. It's become a full blown holy war. Rediculous.
  4. Damn, I missed this one...
  5. It was an image of a sign expressing feelings of sorrow to the mothers of slain children and families at the Russian school.
    The responses ranged from the opinion that the problem is Islam itself who the poster felt teaches at the fundamental level that killing those who believe in other religions is justified and necessary, to a Chechnian who explained that the motivation of the terrorists was that thousands of Chechnian women and children have been brutalized, raped and murdered by Russian soldiers, to blaming Bush, Blair and Western Civilization itself for the rise of world-wide terrorism, to a poster who felt that fathers were left out of the attempt at condolences, to many other opinions and positions.
    It became very ugly.
  6. I've encouraged the staff at photo.net for years to nuke images that are posted with the clear intent to portray a political/religious message. While photographs often contain controversial subject matter, the photographer is obliged to keep the subject within the realm of artistic context. If they can do that, then they deserve a badge of immunity. The ability to discern the difference is part of the learning process in general for all of us, so there.

    If photographers can't be *evolved* enough to elevate artistic expression beyond petty political and religious debates, then please go elsewhere. This is not a political discussion forum, and we have enough problems keeping coherent with photographic related issues.

    To which I'll hear the shout of "free speech", to which I'll respond with "BS". To waste time posting a political image in a neutral photography forum cleary shows an intent to take advantage of the critique resources here and try to get your voice heard above the others. That ain't free speech - it's abuse. The people who are offended by the image should go out, and take a picture showing the opposite point of view in a more offensive term and direct it towards the original poster as a response. Hey, "Free Speech".

    I have no idea what the original image was, but it sounds like Jay is making a good point.
  7. Scott is absolutely right. I did see it and won't call it an image. I'm sure she meant well, but it was the wrong thing in the most wrong place of all -- photo.net.

  8. The person who posted the photo announced her intention to delete it, having realized that the discussion was going in a direction that was not what she intended. I removed the ratings on the photo, disabled further ratings of it, and caused it to disappear from Top Photos. But I decided to give the person who uploaded it the courtesy of being able to delete it herself from her portfolio.
  9. Some people believe that photography *should* be used to make social or political commentary and that their images should evoke strong reactions. Obviously this photographer was successful at that.

    I agree that such photography is as valid as any other form. My only comlaint is when such photographs are callow, bombastic or just plain dumb. A photograph of a demonstrator's sign is seldom good social/political commentary or a good photograph.
  10. I don't think it was even a photograph of a sign. It may have been a computer graphic.<p>

    I believe as many would feel it was perfectly acceptable here as out of place. I fall in the second category. But an actual image evoking the emotions of the situation - that's what photography is all about.<p>

    In the end, it's academic. The subject, no matter how presented, aroused the most basic and violent of human emotions. The individuals expressing their diametrically polar views will go to their graves with their feelings changed not one iota by the other's viewpoint.<p>

    It is terrifying to see the continuing violence that humans inflict on each other. And the unending cycle of violence begetting violence. As we "evolve" we simply develop more sophisticated and powerful weapons to inflict the violence.<p>

  11. "...the unending cycle of violence begetting violence..."


    My cousin's husband and I were discussing this after watching "Dawn of the Dead" (the original George Romero version, not the recent remake). I'm a major fan of Romero's because of his sly way of sneaking social commentary and black humor into gory horror flicks.

    At first my buddy didn't see any connection. He just figured a gorefest was a gorefest. But I pointed out the differences between Romero's stuff and some of the completely pointless, gratuitously gory movies we've seen, such as "Hannibal". No matter how well cast, filmed and acted, the movie has no point beyond being a nod toward the Grand Guignol.

    Romero's zombie films have several messages (a jab at consumerism is prominent in "Dawn of the Dead") but the overriding theme is about how violence propagates almost exponentially, as each victim becomes a new victimizer, until the infection is out of control.

    Likewise some of David Cronenberg's movies, notably Videodrome, feature social commentary about sexually transmitted diseases, not so subtilely veiled as horror.

    Ditto the better sci-fi movies. The most memorable from the '50s 'til now have usually been political commentary - our fear of Communism or the influx of undocumented Mexicans seeking jobs in America - translated into monstrous aliens. Sometimes it turned out the aliens were just misunderstood, if the director and writer had more tolerant leanings.

    Even Edward Wood's hypnotically bad "Plan 9 From Outer Space" could be credited with a valid message: that arrogant, self-important liberal fascists who think they know what's best for everyone else really *should* die in flaming hubcaps.

    So, in my opinion, photography used skillfully to convey a message is legitimate and has a place alongside macrophotography of flowers and bugs or fine art nudes. But if they're done with the hamfisted approach of those asinine movies like "Friday the 13th", well, censoring isn't good enough for 'em. They should be drawn and quartered 'til the emulsion bleeds fixer.
  12. It is rather naive to say photography and politics don't mix, photography represents all aspects of life, to allow photos of womens vaginas and the to ban political images, and or discussions, seems rather lame and won't cut it in the light of day. But then again its not my website, good luck.
  13. Gary, while I agree with you in principal I do lament the fact that discussions surrounding political images posted here quickly devolve away from any aspect or debate about the image and go off on far flung, venomous and immature tangents on the politics with scarcely any real discussion of the merits of the image itself. If someone's simple desire in posting the political image is merely to set off argument and debate on the politics then that discussion belongs in a political forum and not here. If the discussion stayed on the creation of or elements of the image and how the photograph was executed to produce such a message then that would be great. But it rarely if ever happens that way.
  14. "If someone's simple desire in posting the political image is merely to set off argument and debate on the politics then that discussion belongs in a political forum and not here."


    But who determines the photographer's intent? Unless the photographer confesses intent we don't know.

    Interpretation of intent and subsequent commentary, rational or not, are the responsibility of the respondent.
  15. A good photograph will create discussion on the subject matter, a great photograph will create a heated, passionate discussion.

Share This Page