U3AC Photo Forum 2018-19 13: Morality and Controversy in Photography

Helen Cherry approached this under three broad headings: fake photographs; shocking photographs; and controversial art photographs.  She took us from the Cottingley Fairies through the work of a wide range of photographers, including Robert Capa, Mikhael Subotsky, Eddie Adams, Nick Ut, Irina Ionesco, Diane Arbus, Joel-Peter Witkin, Jill Greenberg and so on.  She asked questions posed by these pictures. Is it right to take them?  Should they be published?  Do the subjects have a right to anonymity? Do they change history or are they merely to shock?  Do the ends justify the means?  What price is paid by the photographer? Photo Irina Ionesco

There was much debate and a lot of issues were left hanging.  But there was some consensus on the following. 1. The context for the pictures is vital in understanding them.  2.  It is important to respect the subjects.  3. Turning pictures of exploitation and suffering onto art object on a gallery wall is wrong.  4. Photography reveals what’s happening and society can’t claim it doesn’t know if it does nothing.  5. The art based photography raised mixed feeling – I found some of it (Irina Ionesco and Jill Greenberg) distasteful, but couldn’t make a final judgement without knowing what the photographers had in mind. Photo Jill Greenberg

This entry was posted in U3AC Photography Courses, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Please do this simple sum to prove you are real! *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.