Phonar Task: Reflection (BTF)

The final Bending The Frame task was one I really wanted to engage with having not been able to complete the previous task in the series.

The brief for the task can be seen below:

“Source an image of the Coventry blitz. Ask yourself “how would this have been presented in today’s social and multi media environment? In what ways would it difffer? Is it better or worse?”.

Blog a 250 word reflective account.”

I was positive approaching this task as the reflective side of photography is something I really relate to, and I find examining photographic content and issues sometimes more exciting than the actual production of the image itself! The image I sourced from the Coventry Blitz was the funeral of the first mass grave, I built on the idea of Fred Ritchin when he noted that more photographers should photograph peace and chose a moment that reflects the time after the bombing. I also wanted to break away from the most commonly seen imagery of the ruined buildings as I feel that although they make visually interesting images, that the greater sacrifice was made by those who died in those buildings and not the structures themselves.

My response to the task can be seen below:

MassFuneral

This image today would most likely be presented in a multimedia environment in a ‘here and now’ type format perhaps with an interactive image possibly using a tool such as ThingLink. The user would be presented with the original image and the scene visualised in the current time period which would provoke a comparison between society then and society now. The interactive element could come from portraits of those who died, audio of survivors accounts of the Blitz and possible opinions of the Blitz by descendants on those who died.  In terms of which would be the most effective I think that really relates to how and where both artefacts are used, Marcus Bleasdale referenced the fact that different approaches would work for different audiences. Perhaps the original image would be more effective for the elder generation who were affected by the Coventry Blitz, these may also include any survivors. The simple black and white print photograph was the norm prior the paradigm shift therefore it stands that this would probably be the most effective form. In terms of engaging with a younger audience the interactive, multimedia version of the image would be much more effective and easier to distribute to them through social media channels. The nature of the artefact also suits the effect it would have on the individual; to teach them about what happened and provoke them to compare their situation to that of those affecting by the Blitz in that moment. I think there will always be a place for the photograph in the culture of the image as long as there are those who engage and practise analogue photography. As Shahidul Alam and Marcus Bleasdale identified, it is all about finding the right tool to engage with the intended audience.

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