World Press Photo Winner 2012

In our picbod session today we spent some time discussing the winner of the world press photo award for 2012. As always there has already been alot of debate surrounding the choice of 1st place and we drew alot of our opinions and foundations for our discussion from ths collection of blogs and links from Martijn Kleppe .

I dont want to go into to much detail about my opinions on the winning Photo by Samuel Aranda but i do just want to outline a few brief points.
At first i really like this photograph, its straight to engage me with its off centre composition and colour pallette. The contrast of the white gloves are complemented by the dark shadows and black figure. There is no doubt that this is a strong image. I dont want to continue on to talk about now how much it resembles and refers to the Pieta or rennaisance paintings as everyone else is, i just want to raise the issue of this photographs denotation and context now that it has won the award. This is obviously going to add to this photographs communication, we will now always read it in a different way whether we want to or not, it’s become a part of this photographs story. The Debate it has caused. Personally, i like this image and think it is strong and believe it does communicate the issues of the time it was taken, as a photograph to demonstrate the Arab spring. The important role of women and how her white gloves are dirtied, how there is no need for a background of chaos and weaponry because its all in that embrace. However, how long are we going to validate these types of photographs which show an embrace and are directed to the reference of something which is a part of our western culture. This is the WORLD press photo and i think this is the key issue, the winning photograph always seems to have taken its culture from the West. I think there were probably stronger images in the competition that didnt win. I just feel that it would be extremely refreshing to welcome a winning photograph that was taken outside of the western context, away from the influence of our Arts and Culture since the Renaissance and Christianity. Instead a Christian symbolism has been placed on members of islamic faith so we relate to it better or understand it more. A paraphrase of something i heard today: 90% of the Photos coming from 2% of the world.

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