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Pentagon Demonstration

This image, entitled Pentagon Demonstration, Washington D.C., was captured by Benedict J. Fernandez. October 21, 1967 marked the first national demonstration against the war in Vietnam. Here, soldiers are depicted standing guard in front of the Pentagon to defend it from protesters.

In reference to photographs, Sturken and Cartwright suggest, “Much of the meaning of camera-generated images is derived from the combination of the camera’s role in capturing the real and its capacity to evoke emotion and present a sense of the unattainable – in other words, to appear to be both magical and truthful at once” (280).

This image would be considered scientific evidence – it was a way to accurately document the event that is understandable by any who view it. It was a real, unplanned photograph of an actual event. Although only 3 are clearly depicted, the Pentagon was surrounded by 2,500 troops. The demeanor of the soldiers and direction of the firearms start to paint the scene of the intensity of the demonstration. Fernandez is able to capture the emotion of the event through this image.

Liz

Comments

Daniel
Reply

This image definitely resembles the reading’s basis on scientific evidence. However, the black man in the middle of the picture seems like he wants to be the center of attention. This assumption of mine makes it hard to believe that the soliders were intimidating the protestors. Instead, this portrait makes me believe that they did not really favor the war and was just following orders…. somewhat jokingly.

Erica
Reply

I think it’s interesting that you tied in the article’s focus on scientific evidence. Prior to reading this article, and because I often think of design related to the visual, I had never really thought about science being a particularly visual field. But it absolutely is!!

I loved the ad about “The Doctor Can See You Now.” Ha … =)

Nikolas
Reply

I find it interesting to consider images of the war protests of the 1960s in light of their function as legal evidence. John Filo’s picture of the Kent State massacre is probably the most obvious example of what I mean. There, the picture didn’t supply adequate evidence of what happened; none of the guardsmen involved in the shooting were ever convicted on any civil or criminal charges related to the incident (there was a civil settlement with the government). The picture did, however, serve as evidence in a much broader sense, and stirred up a tremendous amount of subsequent protests.

Sandy
Reply

The vantage point of this picture it’s what makes caught my eye. the viewer feels as if the soldier was pointing at him. Also the expression of the soldier with the rifle is very interesting. Usually soldier tend to scream at civilians and be very angry, but he’s calm. it is sort of magical.

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