Capturing Truth and Other Camera Lenses and Accessories

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“A picture is worth a thousand words”, or so the saying goes.  Photographs, serving as a form of media with multiple purposes, have captured historical events and fond memories alike for many years.  More recently, journalists have been able to make trwomen-cyberactivism-arab-springansnational journeys with the intent of gathering and photographing stories and pivotal current events.  These photographs are then used to supplement news coverage and are presented to the public as fact.  However camera lenses are narrow and often only able to capture individual moments lacking factual context which is then solicited to the public.  Within Dr. Segall’s Performing Democracy she exposes the Western lens as cloudy and unclear and explores the utilization of various forms of creative media as trustworthy sources of information when examining and investigating global issues from global perspectives.

Dr. Segall begins Performing Democracy with an introduction in which she describes a newsflash of a protest in which a woman has been beaten by police (xv). This newsflash exemplifies a captured individual moment lacking factual context.  This newsflash also exemplifies an image utilized to continue stereotypes and misinformation about the ‘otheMoroccor’.  Specifically within Western media, journalists capture wars, protests, and other forms of turmoil plaguing other countries through photographs taken to perfectly depict these problems through the Western media lens.  The Western media lens focuses specifically on broader ethical issues, such as western-feminism and human rights, which thus simplifies the event being captured as well as takes the image being shown completely out of context.  This can be seen through the newsflash as viewers of the image are only shown a beaten woman, used to perpetuate other countries’ barbarianism towards women and lack of human rights under dictatorships or struggling governments, and police brutality rather than capture and discuss what the protest is about and specifically explain why the woman is protesting.  Dr. Segall rejects Western media images as a source of credibility and information, and discusses the “stubborn voices” trustworthy in providing factual information and context within their stories of the events in their country (xv).

While Western media focuses on reassuring its audience the West is more civilized and ethical, “stubborn voices” heard through blogs, plays, songs, and poetry “circulating in popular culture but not captured by the Western press, add nuanced ideas of political identities in young democracies, record transitional violence, and attempt to cope with the violence and imagine transition after atrocity” (xvi).  Through these voices and from these various forms of storytelling the entirety of images are captured.  Individuals and their reason for protesting included within their personal story are outlined and presented, not only providing faces and names to the Western images of “other women from other counties being abused obviously of course ”, but alsepa02593472 Moroccans demonstrate in Rabat on February 20, 2011 demanding political reforms and limits to the powers of the king. Hundreds of people took part in Day of Pride demonstrations 20 February throughout Morocco to demand political reforms in the North African country. The demos, held in around 20 locations around the country, demanded limits to the powers of King Mohammed VI.  EPA/KARIM SELMAOUIo providing necessary background on reasons for strife, struggle, and protest experienced.  The contrast between the newsflash completing Western media’s necessity of perpetuating stereotypes and Western ideals and the stubborn voices fighting back against lies and half-told stories about their struggle and lives found within creative media, can be found within each’s desire to share the truth.  The stubborn voices serve as activists for their people by not only rejecting the stereotypes the world sees their struggle as by utilizing creative media as a means for providing information but also by personalizing their stories and choice of creative media to outline their own personal experience.  Through individual travel, both physically traveling to other cultures to hear various stories or traveling through the internet to find these alternative stories, truth can be found.

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