Photography And Power

First, please watch this excellent video by Jamie Windsor: 

So, that video inspired this comment from me:

This is a beautiful, thoughtful commentary and raised a lot of issues for me ~ there is a whole school of photography which is basically neo-colonial and seems to delight in reducing people from non-European cultures into curiosities, into sub-human spectacles. There is no respect for them as people at all. That’s a definite tendency “art” photography still has to address. I’m sure you know the famous photos I’m referring to. 

I agree with your embedded perspective, being *from* the culture but maybe it’s more than that, maybe it’s a question of power relations? A cop taking a photo of me is not the same as me taking a photo of a cop. I know this from taking pics on demos. Similarly, a rich European taking a few days jaunt in an impoverished country, searching for grief porn to capture is definitely exploiting their relative power advantage. 

And THANK YOU for the words about people hiding behind the letter of the law to justify immoral acts. Slavery was legal, rape in marriage was legal, does that mean it was okay to be a slaveowner or a rapist? 

Lastly, I’m guessing you’ve read this but if not, I think you’d appreciate it: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orientalism_(book)