Contextual Understanding

Write a short response explaining what stood out to you in their discussion of the two photographic images by the USA photographer Weegee. 

Weegee’s (Arthur Felig) commitment to photographing crime and violence in the streets of New York stood out to me. It would require passion and bravery to be able to photograph such heartbreaking and terrifying scenes. I was stunned at the impact that the nascent civil rights movement had on black people. For example, the mother who allowed her son’s corpse to be photographed so everyone could see the gruesome evidence of violence exacted on her son. (Sturken, Cartwright, 11). The photograph, that eventually was published in magazines, represented the extent of the racism at the time and the violence that occurred between white and black Americans. The contrast between the children’s emotions and the parents emotions in Weegee’s photograph, The First Murder, stood out to me. The children appeared fascinated and oblivious to the reality of the situation. Whereas in contrast, the parents appeared distraught and upset. (Sturken, Cartwright, 10-11).


Fig. 1. Photograph Of Emmett Till’s Brutalised Body In His Casket. 1955. Web. 15 Apr. 2016.


Sturken, Marita, and Lisa Cartwright. “Images, Power and Politics”. Practices Of Looking : An Introduction To Visual Culture.: NewYork: Oxford University Press, 2009. 9-48.Print.


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