On snapshot photography: Rethinking photographic power in public and private spheres

rowan lear | research

Zuromskis, Catherine. ‘On snapshot photography: Rethinking photographic power in public and private spheres’ Photography: Theoretical Snapshots (Oxon: Routledge, 2009) p.49-62

p.49

[discusses Sontag’s essay ‘Regarding the torture of others…’

As more and more photographs are taken and consumed, Sontag argues, the world is atomized into a series of disconnected images and anecdotes.

The article, in my view, drew much-needed attention not to the acts portrayed in the Abu Graib photos per se, but to the photographs themselves and the very fact of their existence in our image-saturated culture.

p.51

[discusses Sontag’s negative view of photography]

p.52

To be sure, this image constitutes an act of aggression, but it is also distinct from many of the public modes in which photographs of atrocity are often disseminated – the artistic and journalistic war photographs, for example, that form the basis for Sontag’s investigation in Regarding the Pain of Others.

What struck me…

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