36 Replies to “Ask a question about Susan Sontag’s text”

    1. Yes, or at least how it was used in the 1970s. She suggests that we may be deceived by photographs, in the way the prisoners are deceived by shadows.

  1. Do all photographs show a false reality? The person behind the camera chooses what’s in the frame so the mood may be different, the situation may be different, and the timing may be different. Does Sontag think that photographs are a true and surreal experience of what it offers?

    1. It is not necessarily that all photos show a false reality. But the photographer could alter the perception of reality. Not sure about the surreal part of this question…. that’s a wider question.

    1. The ‘picture is worth a thousand words’ is a bit of a cliche and could be further interrogated. Pictures do contain a lot of information, but they can also augment reality. Sontag wants her readers to be critical.

    1. Sontag describes people in unusual spaces using the camera as a way of coming to know a place. This may be what she means in terms of a ‘tool against anxiety.’ Photography also protects us against loss. The ideas of power relates more to photographies potential voyerism.

  2. What does Susan Tang means by “..a painting or a prose description can never be other than a narrowly selective interpretation, a photograph can be treated as a narrowly selective transparency”?
    PG 12

    1. We did discuss this in class… Photography is a transparency because we literally look through it to see what it represents. But it is also selective… as in, it doesn’t show us everything. Conversely a painting is an interpretation because it is ‘hand made.’

  3. Does Susan Sontag believe that the interpretation of an image has the power to negatively alter our perspective?
    Why does Sontag state “There is an aggression implicit in every use of the camera”?

    1. She thinks that photography is potentially aggressive because it is a way of acquiring possession over people, and objectify them. She argues that photography encourages voyerism.

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