January 26, 2009

Photographs as (instant) Proof

The whole inauguration event last week was full of excellent examples of uses of imagery for social and political purposes. Images and cameras, from the large video cameras of CNN and MSNBC to the millions of point and shoot cameras in the crowds, are intrinsic to these kinds of events. I was struck by the way that people often raised their cameras--instead of looking directly--when President Obama passed by during the parade.

There was one moment that was particularly interesting to me. During the inaugural luncheon, Obama was presented with the official photograph of the swearing-in ceremony:

During the Inaugural Luncheon it is traditional for the President and Vice President to be presented with gifts by the Congress on behalf of the American people. The President and Vice President will each be presented with a framed official photograph taken of their swearing-in ceremony by a Senate photographer, as well as flags flown over the U.S. Capitol during the inaugural ceremonies.

Found here. I am still looking for the photo itself...for some reason it's not all that easy to find.

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