Week 5 - Choose a Popular Advertisement on YouTube and Write a Short Explanation to Account for its Popularity
This photo essay was completed by a set of models who were competitors in season 9 of a very popular reality show in the U.S., America’s Next Top Model. And according to the host, this photo essay is to increase the awareness about the terrible impacts of smoking.
The two photos that I have chosen were taken in Philippines right after undergoing the most destructive typhoon, Haiyan in November 2013.
In my opinion, the men in picture 1 and President Aquino III in picture 2 have the similarity that both parties were trying to do something in order to improve the situation at that time. After the devastating typhoon, we can see that in photograph 1, the brunch of men were carrying the boxes of relief supplies from a military helicopter to some people, maybe to the their family, friends, neighborhood or people who were particularly in need such as elderly and children. In photograph 2, President Aquino III, who is the president of Philippines, was visiting the victims in the severely affected area to pacify them and see what the government could do.
However, there is also a difference between both parties: the attitudes behind their action. From my point of view, the men in photo 1 were helping the victims in their own country wholeheartedly but I do not feel the same way from President Aquino III in photo 2.
In the first picture, we can see that the men were rushing to the helicopter to carry the relief supplies boxes. I am especially attracted by the man with a red cap at the front. Although the sunglass covered his eyes, I can still feel his eagerness of helping people because his lips was intense and his shorts were blown like two lanterns which means that he was running very fast and desperate to send the supplies to the refugees. Both their actions and facial expressions have implied their urgency and desperation to offer a helping hand to the victims they knew.
In the second picture, President Aquino III was listening to the female victim at the front telling him about their problems after the disaster. However, according to the photo, I doubt if Aquino was really listening to the lady because he did not even look at her while she was talking. Moreover, not only Aquino did not stand still, was he also trying to put his left hand into his pocket or fix his belt. It seems being too relaxed or even disrespectful for a president to listen to a victim from his country about her problems caused by the destructive natural disaster.
What is more, instead of holding her hands or shoulders a bit for encouragement like other presidents do, he kept a distance from the lady and there was also a fence between them. I wonder if this is implying that there is a gap between the president and his people, a gap distinguishing two completely different identities with social hierarchy which means this man may never truly want to know his people and see what he can do to help. His visit may be just out of his duty as a president but not truly wanting to care about his people. It might be just a political show, especially with many camera men from the mass media taking photos of him as we can see in this picture. As a result, from his body language, I think he did not try his best in this incident.
The same kind of actions with different attitudes and maybe even the intentions. This is the story I see from these two photos. It is ironic, isn't it?
Caption: Perished couple found embracing their self in rubble of collapsed factory in Bangladesh
(From the source)
At 9 a.m. on 24 April 2013, a garment factory in Bangladesh suddenly collapsed and caused more than a thousand casualties. This photo was taken in this buskin while the rescue team was searching for the survivors and cleaning up the rubble. According to the media, the two persons in the picture were a couple.
I think it is extremely touching because I can feel there is faithful love in the picture which is treasurably rare. In the wreckage, we can see that the man put his arm around the woman’s waist and back to hug her and leant his head on her chest. I think this embrace is particularly powerful in terms of both physical and sentimental aspects from the man.
Physically, he hugged her very tight that not even the extremely strong force created by the plunge of collapsing rubble could separate them from each other. I believe that it must require a particular power to achieve this, the physical and unexpectedly strong potential power in every human being that we usually have no idea how to propel it unless we are under an extremely hard circumstance. This kind of power inside the man was propelled within the few seconds, just because of his love to his wife and I suddenly realize that great power is always generated by great love.
Sentimentally, I can feel his determination being with his wife and a sense of protection which is inborn for most of the males from his facial expression, body language and his position of the embrace. Based on the photo, his hug was tight and his facial expression was determined without any sense of struggling or panicking which means from the moment of collapsing, he already firmly decided to stick to his partner forever without a second of hesitation. Furthermore, his position was a bit higher and I think he was unconsciously using his back to protect his spouse from the falling rubble. These all are the actions presenting faith and great love.
Technically, as there is much less I can see from the woman, I may not be able to analyze her as detailed as I do for the man. Nevertheless, by the way she leant backward and put her forearm next to her husband’s head, at that moment, maybe she was trying to push him away, telling him to escape from the danger regardless of her.
‘I take you for my lawful wife/husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and health, until death do us part.’ This is part of the marriage vows and not many pairs can truly understand the meaning behind and achieve it. But this pair has achieved the commitment of love to the fullest extent to produce this great photograph accidentally. Indeed, it is a tragedy, but at least leaving us a beautiful story. Don’t you agree?
The title of this editorial cartoon is NSA Scandal illustrated by Luo Jie. It was published on 13 June 2013 of China Daily which was referring to the issue at the end of May 2013 about Edward Snowden, the former System Administrator of National Security Agency in America, revealing PRISM , the highly confidential surveillance program that the US government wiretapped its citizens and hacked the computers in Hong Kong and China.
Luo used caricature to personify The Statue of Liberty, the most remarkable statue symbolizing the spirit of liberty in America. In this single-framed cartoon, Lady Liberty, which represents America, walks shakily in the front and looks back her shadow with a worried face . While she is holding the torch which symbolizes freedom and a book representing United States Declaration of Independence which is against tyranny, her shadow holds a satellite up high to the sky connecting with a cassette tape recorder, a telephone and wears a headphone to keep the world under its surveillance.
From my point of view, the main message behind is to satirize the US government for being self-contradictory to the core values of America─ ─freedom , human rights and democracy , which are also the points that it always uses to criticize China. He has shown the irony that in front of the world, the US government always advocates of its beliefs with countless great speeches to build an image that America is a nation of liberty . However , on the contrary, according to the revelation of Snowden, it secretly keeps its citizens, the important institutions and influential people around the world under close surveillance behind which abuses its power to severely infringe individual rights and privacy .
Besides, in my opinion, Luo is also concerned about the problem that under the rule of the present US government, those core values of this country are undermining. The Statue of Liberty symbolizes the great revolutionary history and the liberal spirit of Americans, but in the picture, Lady Liberty looks worried and walks shakily. She is not confident of the beliefs she is holding anymore . It means that after the disclosure of spying activities surreptitiously proceeded by the US government , the author worries about the government overpowering to an extent that it is actually able to shake Americans' beliefs and violate everybody's privacy and human rights in the world regardless of the constitution and the spirit of its nation.
To conclude, this picture is effective to convey the serious message behind with a comic tone and I can directly associate it with the related incident. As a result, I think it is a good political cartoon.
After reading the same story presented by different kinds of ways on the website ’99 ways to tell a story’, I find three of them particularly interesting to me.
The first one is called Exercise in Style. It is one of the few which were drawn with colors. I find it attractive to me because it has dramatized the whole story to give me a strong visual shock by drawing and painting. In the pictures, we can see that it was painted by sharp colors like yellow and red. It has exaggerated some objects such as the endless staircase and the facial expressions and actions of the characters by using a large amount of shadows. It has also dramatized the dialogues by using block letters, the shape of the dialogue box and exaggerating content of the dialogues like ‘DEAR GOD! I DON’T REMEMBER WHAT I WAS LOOKING FOR!!’ These elements are the keys to grab my attention.
The second one is Humor. Just as what the title has stated, this tale is presented with a sense of humor by making good use of caricature. We can see that the characters are drawn to be more cartoon like than the rest which is more outstandingly interesting to me because the cartoon drawing is really accord with the purpose of the story which is presenting it in a funnier way to entertain the audience. Besides, it is clever to adjust a bit of the story to make it more humorous and different from the others in order to achieve the purpose.
The third one that I have chosen is Voyeur. To me, it is worth mentioning because it provides the readers with a very interesting angle to understand a tale which is the way I have never experienced before, not only in understanding a tale, but also in real life. In fact, according to the pictures, it is not very clear to see what exactly the characters are saying and doing. However, I think it is smart to present it in this way because it can make the situation more real and exciting. Once the readers can only see some parts about what is happening inside the house, their curiosity and attention will be promptly aroused so that they will be more likely to feel excited by the experience of being a voyeur. At least I think it is successful to arouse my interest.
Actually, I am quite surprised that there are many creative ways to present one story. And then I realize that only if we think out of the box, can we always create something which is out of our anticipation. This is a really interesting task to me.