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  • Wednesday, September 14, 2005


    Analyzing Images and Body Language

    Sometimes I forget why I like some of the sites on my blogroll. Then I have the joy of rediscovering them. BAGnewsNotes has an excellent deconstruction of photos of Laura Bush visiting refugees in the disaster area. Her body language and the poses are taken apart. If it was just for one photo, it might be overreading the image but over several it's easy to see the pattern. Here's some of the text but for the full effect you need to see the pictures and diagrams.
    Besides the one image where Laura is shaking hands, she comes off like the rich, white, out-of-touch alien that she is. If these were the best images the White House could put together (characterized by passive resistance, hesitancy and awkwardness), I'd hate to see the worst.

    These people are devastated, in shock and angry. The have next-to-no personal space or control over that space. Not only does Mrs. Bush randomly interject herself inside those boundaries, she further can't seem to keep her hands off people. (From my reading, it seems that almost every physical advance is uninvited.)

    Whenever you see images of Mrs. Bush in public, she conveys the feeling of someone moving from spot to spot in service of the camera. Because she and the President show little evidence of compassion or outreach beyond the incessant act of documenting the fact, these images look painfully like gestures when you would think unselfconscious support and solidarity would come a lot more easily.

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