Monday, June 11, 2007

"Development Porn" and NGO imagery

The recent post on BoingBoing about the developing world being photographed by outsiders, i.e. photographers from the first world:

"Another interesting thing that this brings up is the relationship of the photo’s subject to the photographer. In the post, they mention the following fact: “Upwards of 90% of the images of the majority world that are seen in the western media are produced by white photographers from the USA or Europe.”

I'm not a photojournalist, and I've only barely stepped outside of the "western" world, but the topic still resonated with me. Taking photos of people I don't know always feels strange to me, regardless of the circumstances. When these two girls posed for me, it was because they had been taking pictures of us first. Maybe in Istanbul there's a few Turkish middle schoolers looking at a tiny cameraphone shot of a foreign tourist. Hopefully they're thinking she looks like she could be a native.

You can read the longer article about NGO imagery here. There is a picture in the article that also bears a striking resemblance to my own.

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