Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Voyeurism and Advocacy: Small Photos and Big Screens

Upon posting this photo (click this to enlarge) of a family living in a drainage pipe under a road in the Philipines, Randy White articulates something I feel whenever I post one of my similar pics:

it seems like there is a fine line between voyeurism and gathering the information, personal experience and perspectives necessary to be an advocate.

Or maybe it's (also) another reason:
I once titled a post "Maybe if I post this pic, I'll have to look at it" (click title to see the pic).

Note to self:
Be an advocate to self...sometimes.

Consider the band Delirious, who wrote these lyrics, responding to a heartbreaking visit to India:

I stare in the eyes of this flesh and bone
I'm a tourist here so tomorrow I go home
I try to make sense of the things I've seen
Between the poverty and the five star dream.

Of course the irony, which the band was well aware of, is they then went on tour to sing those lyrics....and the rich Americans in the audience can dance to the music.

Maybe as it has to be and should be.

Could be that irony is the only way...whether the subtle irony Randy White mentions as he posts a photo of the drainpipe family.

Or even the full-blown irony of U2 in the 1990s: over the top satire, kitsch.....pretty much prophecy. Bono has always said that celebrity is currency. In the 90s they used that currency subversively...and at great risk....to project huge images, dress up like the devil...

..and to the point:

..give the stage and platform, while in Chile, to the literal "mothers of the disappeared,"...

all while Bono is dressed in a suit of lights.
all while the largest TV screens in history projected their images and subverted their shame.

All this from the band that took once projected, and once played Sarajevo while staying at the five star dream at night.

Voyueristic? Exhibitionist?
"gathering the information, personal experience and perspectives necessary to be an advocate."

I don't have U2's platform.
I don't have Randy White's.
I don't even have the largest TV screen in history.
Or the highest Technorati authority on earth.

I do have a red blog, three chords, a few photos from mission trips to post, and the sometimes ironic, authoritative truth to tell...

Go back to the top, click to enlarge that photo of the drainpipe dwellers, so you can look into their eyes. Click this to read their story, so you can look into their soul.

You know you want to.

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Hey, thanks for engaging the conversation!