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Arts Photography

Vladimir Lagrange, photo artist

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Vladimir Lagrange, Tomorrow Morning, 1969

Vladimir Lagrange took artistic photos of ordinary Russians for the “Soviet Union” Magazine. He also captured a bunch of personal photos that never saw the day of light because of Moscow’s censorship.

In reading up on Vladimir and looking at some of his pictures, it reminded me of this Bertolt Brecht line from War Primer (1955):

“The camera is just as capable of lying as the typewriter.”

The rise of mobile photography unleashes the citizen reporter, making it even harder to assess truth from propaganda. The world speaks in images to which people latch on to their own cocoon. Beware the blind spots.

If you're an artist, photographer, writer, etc., I highly recommend creating your own blog and publishing something new every day (read my post on how to set up a FREE blog on Wordpress).

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Authoritarian gatekeepers

Despite the rapid rise of the Internet and social media, governments in China, Azerbaijan, Vietnam, Iran, Zimbabwe and elsewhere are finding ways to use state-controlled media to help themselves stay in power. They achieve this through selective censorship of political expression and by using state media to influence crucial audiences.

If we think people excessively edit their lives in social media, authoritarian governments are worse. 

If you're an artist, photographer, writer, etc., I highly recommend creating your own blog and publishing something new every day (read my post on how to set up a FREE blog on Wordpress).

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Russian Empire (2012) by Joe Zucker from “Empire Descending a Staircase” 
Russian Empire (2012) by Joe Zucker from “Empire Descending a Staircase” 

If you're an artist, photographer, writer, etc., I highly recommend creating your own blog and publishing something new every day (read my post on how to set up a FREE blog on Wordpress).

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kateoplis: 1972
kateoplis: 1972

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Unfettered Smartphone Messaging To Be Countered?

The Smartphone put an end to control.

The Vladmir Putin booing video is circulating the Russian blogosphere.  A few years ago, the only video footage could have come from the state which would have never released it.

Meanwhile, the Occupy Wall Street movement persists, using the power of its own Twitter handle and hashtags to spread its message to the millions of others connected on Smartphones.

Smartphone messaging only works if others have them.

Imagine a North Korean capturing and distributing anti-government content only to be seen by the world and not at home because no else has a Smartphone. That’s a message with mass without the relevance.

My gut tells me that the uncontrolled nature of content produced on the Smartphone will go unfettered for a few more years while governments across the world drum up smarter ways to counter negative sentiment.  For this, the government needs technology companies which as of now, mostly serve the public and not the states.

The state will hire hackers to manipulate search results, monitor social media, and product more viral state messaging.

All it takes is one monolithic government like China to quell the instant buzz of Smartphone messaging.  And like the global weapons program, China will sell its public monitoring software to other controlled states like Russia.