The fluidity of protest imagery : reading and misreading Taking a stand in Baton Rouge, The foot soldier of Birmingham, and Tank man




Mensah, Michelle Oforiwa

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This report examines Jonathan Bachman’s Taking a Stand in Baton Rouge utilizing interdisciplinary analysis to comprehend its placement among other iconic protest images within public memory, Bill Hudson’s The Foot Soldier of Birmingham and Jeff Widener’s Tank Man. The public’s reception of these images maintains ramifications for the meaning of internet and media systems and their participation in the visual dynamics that penetrate people’s lives. Utilizing semiotics to deeply read Taking a Stand in Baton Rouge offers the opportunity to investigate American culture’s ideas about racial representation. Examining the signs within the photograph exposes the connection between visual imagery and public reaction. Historical analysis aids the exploration of the variegated meanings of the photograph and its reception. Examining the historical origins of the signs within the photograph, such as facial expression and the politics of dress, offers a way to read the motives of those behind nonviolent protests. Through the lens of media and technology studies, Taking a Stand in Baton Rouge illuminates the issues behind visual imagery’s powerful ability to persuade the public


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