Are Lives Really A Joke? (Ashley & Jodieann)

What is the original context of this image (or images, since there were a series of them)? Who is the “author”? When/where/why was it taken (or created)?

The photograph was taken by Nilüfer Demir, a photographer working for the Turkish agency DHA (Dogan News Agency). The photo was taken in the midst of the Syrian refugee crisis. This photo was taken on a beach in Turkey. Upon further investigation it was discovered that the boy’s four-year-old brother Galip and a third child were found a short distance away. The boy’s mother was found on a beach 150 miles away.

What kind of visual imagery does it involve? What type of argument does it make (including its emotional appeal)?

This is a raw, heartbreaking image. The image presents the argument that the ignorance towards violence has gone too far. Being that this is a child it affects most of its viewers.

What about the remixes of this images? What arguments / appeals are they making?

Arch2O-Syrian-01That drowned Syrian boy © Patrick Chappatte,The International New York Times,That drowned Syrian boy

The images above all remixes of the initial image. Every remix serves a different purpose. The first two appeal to the emotions of everyone especially politicians that have chosen to ignore the crisis. The bottom two are remixes that undermine the seriousness of the situation. Without knowing the original context, the user would be emotionally unaware of the initial message.

How did this image go “viral”? How did it circulate? Through what networks (social media & otherwise)? How did the consumers of this image become producers of new meaning?

The image started with European news sources and spread quickly to social networks and American news. All networks contributed to the  viral spread of the image. The emotional appeal alone created an environment of the need to participate in social change. As hashtags and captions were added the image became more popular.

What meanings did this image taken on? How was it appropriated?

In its more disturbing forms the image became a joke. It was used in a was that desensitized the situation.

How did you go about doing your research here? Provide us with the citations / links you are looking at.

Most of the images are linked back to their original sources. All of the images came from the Google seach ”Syrian boy memes”. That single search provided insight into the situation.