This entry was posted on Friday, April 27th, 2012 at 11:32 am and is filed under Photography, Vox Populi. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
I swear to god, every freaking year, the Voice selects a photo of a smiling, slightly muddied third-world moppet that some Hoya asshat snapped on her spring break in [name hurricane-strewn Caribbean nation] or on his study abroad trip to [name African country with high AIDS mortality rate] and gives it runner-up or first-prize status.
There is NOTHING interesting about these photos.* They require nothing more than the ability to afford a plane ticket to Nicaragua, the know-how to toggle to the black-and-white function on your camera, and the preposterous self-importance to snap an exploitative photo of a stranger’s kid, tell yourself it’s art, and submit it to a photo contest. Wow, you vacationed in perpetual safety in an impoverished country and encountered a real-life poor person? You got close enough to him to take a photo? Hondurans smile too??
I can’t aim a camera for shit, but I’d bet dollars to donuts that I could spend ten minutes in my neighbor’s well-manicured backyard taking sepia-toned photos of her 5-to-8-year-old kids playing in the dirt, and if I submitted them to the Voice’s 2013 photo contest claiming that I was in Tanzania, I’d win first fucking place.
* And I’m not ragging on all photos of third-worldians. Go to Midnight Mug and there’s a good chance you can look at a beautiful series of student photographs that showcase a poorer community, but with a little bit of dignity. Those photos tend to depict something *interesting* about themselves or their lives. (Besides the fact that they, you know, know how to smile.)
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