Week 6: And When I am Formulated, Sprawling on a Pin

I feel that the many criticisms Grundberg and the NY Times makes about the NG are all relevant and hold weight as academic arguments in addition to being particularly scathing in their approach. It appears they do create pictorial images and sometimes anthropomorphic in their nature. However as the circulation of NG content is so prominent the publication sits firmly within realm of a mainstream product not unlike Disney, Coca Cola and Nike. All of which acknowledge and understand their audience, responding to them accordingly.

The image below I feel has a negative impact and creates a stereotyped representation of life in Georgia where the photograph was taken. We expect humans to frequent the car yet the back seat is frequented with lambs. We also see human figures outside the car which serves to reinforce perhaps the humour or uncanny nature of life in Eastern Europe. At first viewing I saw the humour in the image and upon reading the caption I appropriated the image to have intertextual reference to the film Borat. When considering the narrative of the image further I tried to put myself in the position of someone who lives in this region and considered how they would feel being represented in this way to a Western mainstream audience. Would they feel violated or misappropriated in some way?

The next image could be read in a number of ways and I personally think this is positive representation of children enjoying themselves and taking risks. I remember doing similar in jumping from the derelict garage roof behind the flats on the council estate where I spent my formative years. The image is pictorial but I would argue that the message is a global one in that children should play and sometimes learn the hard way. I know that I certainly did!

This image was taken seconds before I took his portrait with a direct address. I believe this may be a representation of the stereotype individual you would expect to be a fan of non league football. When looking at the image I could further make a plethora of stereotype assumptions about this persons life and in doing this I would maybe displaying some arrogance as I am younger and have all of my teeth. An element of arrogance could be said for NG as they the perpetuate myths about the world and construct ways of appropriating communities via notions of otherness.

Within my project I feel that photographs on their own may not always be appropriate. In some cases I feel that accompanying words in order to tell stories may work to humanise such as the gentleman above. In doing this I feel that the responsibility of representation is heightened. As for NG, I see them as a creature of capitalism no different from the Nike trainers I wear, the secret Big Mac I eat when my partner isn’t around and the full fat coke I drink when i’m out out.

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