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The March

“The notion of photographic truth hinges on the idea that the camera is an objective device for the capturing of reality, and that it renders this objectivity despite the subjective vision of the person using the camera” (p. 280).

The iconic photograph of Dr. Benjamin Spock, Dr. King and Monsignor Rice of Pittsburg March in the Solidarity Day Parade is an example of the role of images as science and evidence. In the setting of historical context, science is evoked and documented to remind viewers of the accuracy of the image and its authenticity that is presented. According to Sturken and Cartwright, “images are seen as ‘scientific’ when they are held to present accurate, self-evident proof of certain facts” (p. 286). In this case, photographer Benedict Fernandez, captured the march on Solidarity Day at the United Nations Building on April 15, 1967. Fernandez was captivated by the idea of photographing protest movements to create a powerful coverage of events which highlighted both sides of the most highly tension issues of the time. On that day, 400,000 people marched from Central Park to the United Nations building in New York City to protest the Vietnam War.

In order to understand the photograph, it is important to comprehend its historical context and the representation of the march. African-Americans were often involved in the Civil Rights Movement and antiwar involvement. Dr. King was a frequent advocate of peace and an opponent of the Vietnam War. Initially, African-Americans were less likely to join in the demonstration of war opposition out of loyalty to President Johnson who continued to press the issue of Civil Rights to legislation.  Consequently, after much uproar and violence, segrated groups based on race began to voice their opposition towards the war. Since Blacks and Whites of that era typically disputed the war at separate events, this picture remains iconic due to the formation of both Black and White men fighting side by side for similar causes. The generated image evokes an emotion that brings to light the truth as visual evidence. This photograph is used to negate the common idea of hate and segregation in the 1960s with themes of unification and brotherhood for the well being of the nation. The idea behind the analysis of the photo is so that we can scientifically analyze the elements with regards to the visual context of the time period.

Lisa

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