More than a Photograph
Said’s essay “States” makes several good points, but one paragraph stands out in particular to me. The one on page five hundred forty-three paragraph three really caught my attention and really got me thinking about something that I look at frequently. Seeing the pictures of families that had lost everything and the people viewing the pictures not thinking anything of their pain is eye opening to me.
The first sentence says, “Exile is a series of portraits without names. Images that are largely unexplained, nameless and mute.” (Said, 543) What I believe he was trying to get across to us is that we see plenty of pictures and videos of people who have no place to go. They have been evicted from where they lived and lost everything they owned. We have seen so many of these pictures and videos that it doesn’t even bother us anymore. We look at them like they are in a picture book, just used to interest us.
When Said says, “I look at them without precise anecdotal knowledge, but their realistic exactness nevertheless makes a deeper impression than mere information”, (Said, 543) I think he means that the pictures are in the magazine or newspaper to accompany the information that is given to us. But if we look closely we can tell that the photos bring more than statistics to our minds; it shows us the emotions of these people who have lost everything. The emotions of sadness, hurt, and perhaps anger at those who have forced them out of the place that these people called home.
We only connect with these people through photos taken by a photographer no one has met. And even he had to talk to an interpreter to be able to talk to the people. So we are so far away from understanding these people and what they are being forced through. This paragraph has put several thoughts into my head and has caused me to think into this way more than I thought I ever would. Questions are ringing through my head. Why are we spending money...